Small Business Consultants Discuss Incentives for Going Green
Incentives for Small Business Owners
Going green, or being more environmentally friendly with business practices, is socially responsible but can be costly for many businesses today. Fortunately, the government now offers tax credits for going green, and these can increase the Net Present Value (NPV) of your small business by reducing the amount of tax liability you will pay. And, of course, the local community always benefits from socially responsible business practices, and this adds to your goodwill and your reputation.
Strategic Planning for Social Responsibility
Want an idea of how much your business might save in the long-run by investing in environmental friendliness today? The Database for State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) lists not only tax credits, but also lists grants, support projects, financing operations, rebates, loans, and performance-based incentives for installing renewable energy systems, switching to electric vehicles, lowering energy grid usage, and so forth. Of course, strategic financial planning for these changes is a more complex process than it might seem to be on the surface. As with any capital investment, a bookkeeping or professional accounting consultant will calculate on how much value “going green” will add to your business, how long it will take for you to earn back your initial investment, and tell you which incentives you will actually benefit from financially.
Getting Your ROI for Going Green
Sure, you can lay out all sorts of capital investment money for going green, but how do you get a return on that investment? Besides putting forth the customer-friendly image of being socially responsible, another advantage to being more environmentally friendly is that after the initial investment, operating costs will be lower– saving your small business money in the long run. For example, installing environmentally-friendly central cooling and heating systems not only can earn you a credit of $1.80 per square foot for your building, but it also lowers utility bills on electricity and/or natural gas. Programs such as corporate recycling initiatives will cost less in garbage removal, and using hybrid company vehicles or paying for employee bus or train passes will lower the amount spent on gasoline.
State of Oregon Tax and Rebate Incentives
Adding a qualifying renewable energy system to your Portland-area commercial building is exempt from property value assessments, meaning that you won’t pay additional taxes if it adds to your property value. The Energy Trust of Oregon offers businesses free evaluations of a building’s energy efficiency, and cash incentives for making building and equipment upgrades! (If your business is in the Vancouver area, cash incentives are also available for Washington businesses through a different trust.) Energy Trust also offers Portland small business loans through Umpqua Bank for up to $500,000 to fund your green energy projects.
Advising for Small Business
This is a total win-win situation, and one you should definitely take advantage of! A small business consultant can give you all the numbers so you can easily see how expensive of a project you can afford and an accounting consultant specifically will be able to get tell you the maximum amount of rebates and incentives you qualify for when you undertake an energy efficiency project.