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3 Energy Savings Investments to Make With Your Tax Return

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If you’re a small business owner, you’re always investing in it. 

With Tax Day exactly one week away — Tuesday, April 18, 2017 — you have a great opportunity to make an investment that can potentially yield returns for years to come.

Investing in smarter, more energy-efficient solutions for your business can mean an upfront investment, but translate to long-term savings. If you’ve received or are expecting a tax return this year, here are three potential investment ideas. 

1. Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Lighting

This is a straightforward cost-saving measure you can likely do yourself. There are an ever-increasing number of energy efficient lighting solutions that can help you save energy and reduce your costs. Consider converting lighting to energy efficient bulbs such as ENERGY STAR-rated compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs), which cost about 75 percent less to operate, and last about 10 times longer.

Additionally, if your business or office currently uses T12 fluorescent lights, consider switching to T8 lamps and electronic ballasts. The switch could reduce your office lighting energy consumption by up to 35 percent

2. Install a Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats are quickly changing the way people use energy. A number of leading models have a range of energy-saving features – including mobile and web applications that analyze your usage, motion sensors that detect when people are present, etc. – that take the hassle out of managing your building’s temperature and let you focus on running your business. 

Of course, if a smart thermostat isn’t in the cards for your business right now, you can simply go with a programmable model, which has also demonstrated real energy savings.

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3. Invest in Solar Power

Depending on your business size and type, solar power can offer long-term price certainty that may protect against rising costs and regulatory changes. It can also be a valuable tool in your overall energy strategy with little or no up-front costs. 

The Solar Investment Tax Credit (SITC) – a 30 percent federal tax credit for solar systems installed at businesses – is currently extended through 2019, making it a great time to invest in solar energy. After 2019, the SITC will scale down incrementally through 2021 and remain at 10 percent permanently starting in 2022. This solar checklist can help you decide if solar is right for your business.

Looking for additional ways to save on your business's energy bill this tax season and beyond? 

Check out these 50 Energy Saving Tips

Posted: April 11, 2017