The Business Energy Edge

Take Advantage of Tax Deduction for Energy Efficiency

Were you part of an energy-efficient improvement project in a commercial building last year? You may be eligible for a 179D tax deduction. A qualifying business is eligible for up to $1.80 per square foot for eligible buildings placed into service between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2016. This deduction was made available following the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

The great news is that a variety of project participants are eligible. For example, private building owners and lessees who paid for an energy-efficient project, as well as with architects, engineers, contractors and energy service companies performing the work in new government buildings can also benefit from this deduction.

Keep in mind that to be entitled for a deduction, the project must be verified and certified by a third party, along with an on-site building survey.

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EIA's Short-Term Outlook Reports Rise in Gas Prices, Some Experts Disagree

It’s no secret that natural gas prices have been hovering at historic lows recently. However, that trend is expected to change over the next two years. This news comes on the heels of most recent Short-Term Energy Outlook from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), which estimates a spike in natural gas usage across the industrial sector. Overall consumption is on the rise, also contributing to the anticipated price increase.

Though the EIA has predicted a positive outlook for gas producers, some experts say that the uncharacteristically warm winter could affect the forecasts. Large supplies and low demand have led to decreased inventory, which they expect may not actually increase prices as projected.

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Compressed Natural Gas Gaining Favor Across Numerous Industries

Though gasoline and diesel prices often fluctuate regularly, compressed natural gas (CNG) fleets tend to see a reduction in fuel costs by as much as 50%. This fact alone has led many businesses to take note and make the switch to this domestic, more efficient transportation fuel.

Beyond cost, there are other significant benefits to using this alternative fuel. The CNG fueling infrastructure network continues to expand, making it more accessible for long-distance fleets. It’s also much cleaner than traditional fuels and easier to access, since the natural gas is located right beneath our feet.

The best part is that converting to CNG isn’t all or nothing. Partial conversions may be a better fit for some businesses when it comes to cost.

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Keep a pulse on what’s happening in the energy industry. Learn more in this week’s Market Commentary.
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  • 93% of new power capacity built in the U.S. since 2000 has been natural gas plants or renewable energy projects.
  • The U.S. has about 72 million natural gas customers.
  • Petroleum generates less than 1% of electricity in the U.S.
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