USGBC says new bill would spur job creation, energy-efficient retrofits in commercial construction
The “Commercial Building Modernization Act” (S. 3591) would create thousands of U.S. construction and manufacturing jobs by spurring energy efficient retrofits of commercial and multifamily buildings, according to an industry-conservation alliance that includes The Real Estate Roundtable, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the U.S. Green Building Council. The recently introduced legislation would extend and improve the existing federal tax deduction (Section 179D of the Internal Revenue Code) by leveraging vast sums of private sector investment for technology-neutral, performance-based retrofits, according to a September 27 USGBC article.
Although the deduction has been available for years, it has been cumbersome and costly for building owners to apply Section 179D for comprehensive energy efficiency retrofits. As a result, the current deduction has mostly been used for partial building system upgrades — when used at all. The reformed 179D tax deduction would generate more than 77,000 construction, manufacturing, and service jobs throughout the country — while achieving greater national energy security and independence — according to a 2011 analysis released by USGBC, NRDC and The Roundtable.