In a mid-July briefing from The Construction Law Briefing Paper, U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman reported that “residential and commercial buildings consume 39 percent of total U.S. energy. Buildings alone account for 53 percent of natural gas consumption and 71 percent of electricity consumption.” As a result, the paper noted, the federal government will offer substantial tax savings if owners and lease holders of commercial buildings implement energy-efficient changes.

Through next year, the IRS (Notice 2006-52) will allow taxpayers to deduct up to $1.80 per square foot of a commercial building to defray the cost of installing energy-efficient materials and equipment.