NettZero News April - Tax breaks for Green Buildings

The Tax Breaks for Green Buildings Program (the Tax Break program) is a Commonwealth Government initiative to improve the energy efficiency of existing commercial buildings. It is a voluntary program for eligible businesses and does not impose further regulations on businesses.

From 1 July 2011, the Tax Break Program will offer eligible organisations that own Commercial Buildings who invest in eligible assets or capital works, which will improve the energy efficiency of their existing buildings, a chance to apply for a one-off bonus tax deduction of 50% to cover these improvements.

To be eligible for this programme, a NABERS assessor must assess the building both before and after the project, and the building must achieve an improvement in energy efficiency from 2 stars or lower to 4 stars or higher between 1 July 2011 and 30 June 2015.

The Tax breaks will be available for existing commercial buildings as well as hotels and shopping centres, which are currently covered by NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating Scheme).

The Tax Breaks for Green Buildings Program complements other Australian Government programs, including the Commercial Buildings Disclosure program and the Green Building Fund (whose last round closed on March 29, 2011). It is designed to motivate building owners to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions and support green collar jobs.

The Australian Government Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency released a Consultation paper in early January 2011 which provided a detailed overview of the program and asked for submissions for interested Industry participants. The consultation period closed on 18 February 2011 and 60 submissions were received.
According to the DCCEE the feedback was excellent with a variety of issues being raised and they are currently busy reviewing these submissions.

The Commonwealth Government DCCEE is yet to release the final details of the program, so look out for our NettZero NewsFlash as we will provide more information about this programme and eligibility criteria as it becomes available.