Federal Tax Credit

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Energy Efficient Commercial Building Federal Tax Credit


  • There are two general parts to the requirements of the Federal Tax Credit.
    • 1) Energy Model and Savings Calculations and
    • 2) Inspection of Building Implementation.

Initial Review of Requirements and Qualifications

  • Review requirements and make sure there is nothing that will disqualify us
  • Determine, in general, that necessary resources are available to complete the qualification and certification processes
  • Evaluate what it will take to get the credit vs. the value of the credit to make sure the effort is worth the reward
  • Go / No Go Check based on initial review of credit and process required

Outline of Steps

  • Energy Model
    • Review DTE model and indicate what needs to be done to the model to adjust it to comply with the Federal Tax Credit requirements
    • Locate necessary files and resources to complete the work, if any
  • Savings Calculations
    • Verify what calculations are required and format, then compare to DTE calculations to see what needs to be updated or re-calculated
    • Determine if any additional information is required from the model
    • Get updated energy usage from the model before calculating
    • Locate necessary files and resources to complete the work
  • Inspection
    • Review ASHRAE 90.1-2001 compliance forms
    • Determine if there are any "show stoppers" in the forms that will nullify the effort to get the credit
    • Locate necessary information and resources to complete the forms

Detailed Work


  • Tax credit requires energy model to compare energy efficient building to ASHRAE 90.1-2001 compliant building to determine the amount of savings anticipated from the proposed building.
    • Federal Tax Credit requires 50% savings above ASHRAE 90.1-2001 model.
    • The inspection portion basically follows the compliance forms for ASHRAE 90.1.
    • Certification must be done by a qualified licensed engineer or licensed contractor.
  • Needs to be done by the end of August 2012 for tax season.

Energy Model

Savings Calculations


  • Building Envelope
    • Building Envelope Compliance Form
    • Meet mandatory provisions of section 4.1
  • Interior Lighting
    • Lighting Compliance Form
    • Meet mandatory provision checklist to comply with requirements of section 4.1
    • Connected lighting power tables on form to make sure total lighting power is less than or equal to lighting power in proposed energy efficient building model (Lighting Power Calcs)
    • Record IESNA recommended minimum and actual measured illuminance for each space in Table LF1 (FIND IESNA HANDBOOK)
    • Verify lighting controls match proposed model controls in Table LF2
  • HVAC and SHW Systems
    • HVAC and SHW Compliance Forms
    • Meet mandatory provisions of section 4.1
    • Verify systems not covered in the Standard 90.1 mandatory provisions (fans-pumps > 5 HP, economizer, thermal energy storage, energy recovery, natural ventilation, demand controlled ventilation, dessicant systems, other energy systems). Type, mfg model, size, operating conditions, efficiencies, and control sequences.
    • Verify controls match proposed energy model


Working Session Notes

Notes from SESSION 1 - 8/10/2012

  • Tax Credit Information Collection
    • Review compliance forms
    • Determine which systems will be used for the tax credit to achieve 50% (see DTE study)
      • Windows, insulation (for roof, walls floors), ERU interior lighting systems, skylights, infiltration in the DTE GG energy study for application for DTE YES achieved overall 80% reduction
      • Domestic hot water is not included in model. (It is in the IRS notice 2006-52 but was not included in DTE study)
      • Interior lighting requirement mandatory provision: Must have either automatic shutoffs or occupancy sensors if a space is great than 5000 sq. ft. Is our largest space greater than 5000 sq ft? Kirsten thinks the work area space is about 3416 sq. ft.
    • Start completing compliance forms

Notes from SESSION 2 - 8/17/2012

  • Tax Credit Information Collection continued
  • Completed Building Envelope compliance form
  • Started looking at HVAC compliance form - may have difficulties complying with requirements

Notes from SESSION 3 - 8/24/2012

  • Tax Credit Information Collection continued
  • OSHA standard 1926.56 Illumination
    • The OSHA std. for illumination says offices must be lit to 30 fc.
    • Per IBC/Michigan Building Code Section 1205.3 general lighting requires 10 footcandles for artificial lighting.
  • Measured general lighting levels for Tax Credit Performance info
    • Readings Aug. 24, 2012, 3:30 pm (in fc):
      • Shared table area 16
      • Office west of greenhouse 8
      • Joe's office 29
      • Jason's office 3130
      • Bench outside in front yard 7640
    • Would like to take readings at night to verify levels from lighting only
  • Continuing to complete compliance forms
    • Determine which ones we could actually achieve compliance
    • Document which ones we do not comply with and why we do not comply




  • Plan / Do / Check / Act / Repeat