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  • Writer's pictureTom Petersen

Taking Advantage of Financial Incentives to Go Green

Updated: Aug 28, 2023

Many of us want to do our part in creating a more environmentally sustainable future. Even though we know the long-term pay-off will be worth it, there may be initial financial hurdles to get past. Financial incentives to “Go Green” play an important role as the world around us become less dependent on fossil fuel and more dependent on renewable energy.

Federal and state governments are allocating significant funds to incentivize energy efficiency, LEED construction and renewable energy. Together with private sector incentives, like utility company-backed programs, it’s becoming more and more appealing for individual consumers and businesses to transition to a more sustainable future.

According to DSIRE -- a database of incentives and policies in the US that support renewable energy and energy efficiency – there are 80 different state, federal, and private sector programs available to companies in Pennsylvania. We’ve provided a few examples in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware:

The Sustainable Energy Fund (SEF) promotes and invests in energy efficiency, renewable energy projects and energy education initiatives in Pennsylvania. SEF offers loans to promote clean energy technologies and for projects where energy savings are measurable. Special features include: no prepayment penalty, subordinate lien positions, 100% financing, interest only period payments. Loans range from $5000 - $1 million and are available to commercial, industrial, state and local government, nonprofit, educational and agricultural entities.

New Jersey SmartStart Buildings is a program sponsored by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and receives its funding through New Jersey’s Societal Benefit Charge (SBC). Incentives include prescriptive and custom rebates for commercial, industrial, state and local government, nonprofit, and educational entities. Both new construction and retrofits are eligible and pre-approval is required.

The Green Energy Program of Delaware provides grant funds and incentives to promote the use of renewable energy. There are several different types of funding programs available to residential and non-residential customers of Delaware’s major electric utilities -- Delmarva Power (DPL) and Delaware Electric Cooperative (DEC). Municipal governments that are part of Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation also offer renewable energy grants.

At the federal level, there is the Corporate Tax Deduction for upgrading to energy efficient technologies. Buildings must be certified as meeting specific energy reduction targets as a result of improvements in interior lighting, building envelope, heating, cooling, ventilation or hot water systems. The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020 reinstated this tax deduction and made it permanent.

EES is currently conducting a sustainability assessment for a Pennsylvania healthcare system. This assessment will be a strong first step to allow this client to minimize their carbon emissions and reduce toxic chemical use, among other environmental improvements for their operations. We’re available to help you assess your environmental footprint and recommend next steps to reaching your sustainability goals. Contact Tom Petersen at 215-704-1506 or for more information.

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