The laws of energy

A new energy law offers opportunities for roofing contractors

President Bush signed into law the Energy Policy Act of 2005 on Aug. 8. The law incorporates key provisions for energy-efficient commercial and residential buildings. Specifically, the new legislation provides tax deductions for owners of commercial buildings that exceed ASHRAE 90.1, "Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings," as well as tax credits for highly energy-efficient residential construction.

The legislation has the potential to dramatically affect the commercial roofing and home-building industries, particularly given current concerns about rising energy costs. In addition, it offers you an opportunity to bring a positive economic message to your customers about upgrading their building envelopes.

In the past, payback times for energy-efficient upgrades were the primary economic incentive for building owners and homeowners; however, now this deduction serves as a "first-cost" incentive—in other words, a large percentage of the money is returned immediately. With NRCA's EnergyWise Roof Calculator or another energy calculator and this new legislation, you now can educate customers about the new financial benefits of an upgraded, highly energy-efficient roof system.

As with any new law, there still are some implementation measures to work out, and the U.S. Department of Treasury is in the process of finalizing guidelines and criteria. As soon as this information is available, Professional Roofing will provide an update.