Tag Archives: TPP-2013-03-

Boosting The Green Bottom Line

TPP-2013-03-Boosting The Green Bottom LineBy Dominick Brook

Over the past few years, demand for plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) has steadily grown, with 10 models now commercially available in the U.S. As EV ownership expands, there is an increased need for more publicly-accessible EV charging stations. Many local governments have entered into ventures with EV manufacturers to provide public charging stations.

Several airport parking garages offer charging stations, including Dallas/Fort Worth, Dulles, BWI Thurgood Marshall, John F. Kennedy, San Jose, San Francisco, and Tampa. Outside airports, however, these stations are few and far between, making it challenging for EV drivers to recharge. As evidenced by IPI’s becoming an ambassador to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DoE) EV Everywhere program (see p. 56 for more on this), this is a big issue for the industry and its professionals. By offering an EV charging station, a parking management company or owner can distinguish its facilities and better appeal to the sustainability-minded consumer.

There is a wide range of EV charging station options available in the marketplace. For general public charging in parking facilities, Level 2 or direct-current (DC) fast charging equipment is typical. Level 2 charging stations provide charging through 208 volt AC. Depending on the vehicle, Level 2 equipment typically adds about 10 to 20 miles of range per hour of charging. DC fast charging equipment uses a 300-500 volt DC, allowing for rapid charging. DC fast charging stations typically add 60 to 80 miles of range in 20 minutes of charging.

Federal and state tax incentives may be available for EV charging equipment to help defray the cost of purchase and installation. Until December 31, 2011, the federal government offered a 30 percent income tax credit of up to $30,000 for the cost of qualified alternative fuel vehicle refueling property, which included recharging stations. The federal benefit has lapsed, but with President Obama’s goal of putting 1 million EVs on the road by 2015, the credit could be included in a future extenders bill.

Numerous states still have similar statutes in place. For example:
Georgia. This state offers an income tax credit for the purchase or lease of qualified EV supply equipment, provided that the equipment is located in the state and accessible to the public. The credit amount is equal to 10 percent of the cost of the EV supply equipment, up to $2,500. A taxpayer must obtain a certification from the state Department of Natural Resources prior to claiming the credit.

Louisiana. Here, the state offers an income tax credit for 50 percent of the cost of alternative fueling equipment, which includes EV charging stations. The tax credit is currently on hold while the Louisiana Department of Revenue completes rulemaking related to the credit.

Maryland. The Maryland Energy Administration offers an income tax credit equal to 20 percent of the cost of qualified EV supply equipment. The credit is limited to the lesser of $400 per recharging station, or the taxpayer’s state income tax for that year. The tax credit is limited to 30 EV supply equipment systems per entity.

Oklahoma. Oklahoma offers a tax credit for up to 75 percent of the cost of alternative fueling infrastructure, which includes EV infrastructure.

Oregon: Oregon offers business owners a tax credit of 35 percent of eligible costs for qualified alternative fuel infrastructure projects. Qualified infrastructure includes facilities for dispensing fuels for vehicles operating on electricity.

In addition to the above tax incentives, preferential financing and utility rate reductions are available in a number of jurisdictions.

As parking management companies look for ways to innovate their parking facilities, EV charging stations can provide a green upgrade, opening the door for current and future EV owners. Through careful planning, parking professionals can take full advantage of available tax incentives, reducing their payback period.

Jessica Verhotz of Ernst & Young Tax Credits and Incentives Advisory Services contributed to this column.

Dominick Brook is senior manager, tax credit and investment advisory services with Ernst & Young LLP. He can be reached at Dominick.Brook@ey.com or 614.232.7376

TPP-2013-03-Boosting The Green Bottom Line

Energy Efficient Structure Lighting

TPP-2013-03-Energy Efficient Structure LightingBy Donald R. Monahan, PE

Politicians and the general public have increased their attention on global warming in recent years. This enhanced awareness has resulted in new government and utility-sponsored programs that provide rebates and tax incentives to increase energy efficiency and encourage conservation. Retrofitting your parking facility with more energy-efficient lighting can not only benefit from these incentive programs, but owners can realize a more than 40 percent savings in lighting operational costs, equating to payback periods of often less than four years.

Conservation Incentives
The National Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT 2005) contains a variety of tax credits and deductions for businesses and consumers that are designed to encourage investment in ­energy-efficient commercial buildings (see the March 2012 issue of The Parking Professional for more on this). For parking structure lighting systems, the amount of the tax deduction is the lesser amount of either $0.30 to $0.60 per square foot, or the costs incurred or paid for the system. The amount of the tax deduction is $0.30 per square foot for a 25 percent reduction in lighting power density from that required by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 90.1-2001 publication, to $0.60 per square foot for a 40 percent reduction, and prorated proportionately in between those values.

The ASHRAE 90.1 lighting power density requirement for parking garages is 0.3 watts per square foot. A lighting system with a lighting power density of 0.18 watts per square foot qualifies for the maximum deduction of $0.60 per square foot. A lighting system with a lighting power density of 0.225 watts per square foot qualifies for a deduction of $0.30 per square foot. The tax deduction is allowable in the year which the energy-efficient improvements are placed into service. New parking facilities and retrofitted existing parking facilities both qualify for the deduction. The current legislation expires December 31, 2013.

In addition, local and regional utility companies offer rebates for implementation of energy conservation measures. Visit dsireusa.org to find energy rebate programs in your state.

Energy-Efficient Lighting Design
Advances in technology have resulted in more energy-efficient light sources than traditional high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps such as high pressure sodium (HPS) and metal halide (MH) lamps. Energy-efficient light sources include fluorescent, induction, and light-emitting diode (LED).

For security and safety, an average maintained illuminance equal to or greater than six footcandles on the floor is recommend by the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) publication G-1-03, “Guide to the Design of Security Lighting for People, Property, and Public Spaces,” for covered parking facilities. A typical lighting configuration consists of 150-watt HPS or 175-watt MH fixtures oriented on a 30-by-30 foot spacing at a mounting height of eight to nine feet. Including ballast watts, the total input wattage is 188 watts for the 150W HPS fixture, and 208 watts for the 175W MH fixture.

One example: a fluorescent light fixture with four T8 lamps or two T5HO lamps will provide equivalent illuminance on a one-for-one replacement basis as the 150W HPS or 175W MH fixture, while only using approximately 110 input watts. This lighting system saves 41 to 47 percent in energy costs. The lighting power density is approximately 0.12 watts per square foot, which represents a 60 percent reduction from the ASHRAE 90.1 energy limitation, and qualifies for the maximum EPACT tax deduction.

Incorporation of wireless lighting controls for occupancy sensing and daylight sensing can save an additional 50 percent or more in energy savings (see p. 46 for more on this).

Retrofitting your parking facility lighting system from HID fixtures to fluorescent or LED fixtures can save 40 percent or more on your lighting operational costs. Lighting rebates and federal tax deduction incentives reduce the net initial cost, resulting in payback periods that are often shorter than four years.

Donald R. Monahan, PE, is vice president of Walker Parking Consultants and a member of IPI’s Sustainability Committee. He can be reached at don.monahan@walkerparking.com or 303.694.6622.

TPP-2013-03-Energy Efficient Structure Lighting

Always on Stage

TPP-2013-03-Always on StageBy Stephen Rebora, R.A.

Mr. Rebora, I am pleased to inform you that your firm has been selected to present its qualifications at an interview that is scheduled for next week.” Being short-listed for a new project is always great, but it also sets a chain of efforts in motion that can be monumentally wasteful with one wrong step and without proper leadership. There are a few things to keep in mind that can help keep everyone on the right track.

Game Plan
Have a game plan. Past performance and reputation go a long way in being invited to an interview in the first place. Nothing succeeds like success. However, firms that rely too heavily on their past portfolio of work in an interview often come off as being conceited or arrogant. Clients like to know that you have experience, but it is just as important to tell them what you can do for them specifically. Do some research ahead of time so you and your team arrive at the interview with a clear understanding of the assignment. Visit the site, learn the campus/city/health center, and identify project challenges. All of this will help you form a strategy that plays to your team’s strengths within the context of this specific assignment.

Know Your Audience
As consultants, we have the pleasure of being part of many different planning sessions about many different building types. As such, we tend to pick up a little knowledge about a lot of different aspects of planning, construction, operations, and design. It’s important to recognize that a little knowledge does not make you an expert on the subject. Clients respect honesty. Be careful to stay within your expertise, especially if you do not know your audience. Interview panels are typically made up of diverse groups of educated individuals. Many times, members of the panels have very different interests and goals for the assignment based on their background. The panel may include landscape architects, civil engineers, attorneys, financial experts, or other professionals. Learn your audience and you will be able to tailor your presentation to include their interests. By providing respect for their occupation, you will ensure that you do not overstate your expertise.

When Does the Meeting Start?
I am amazed at people who depart from their homes half-dressed. They are the ones who board the train, plane, or elevator with their shirt unbuttoned and tie draped over their shoulder. Of course, they will be buttoned up in time for the interview, but the fact is they just encountered thousands of people on their way to work. Keep in mind that one of the panel members may be on that plane, train, or elevator. Similarly you should not discuss strategy in an elevator full of people you don’t know. Your potential clients may be in there as well. This is especially true the closer you get to your destination.

Don’t change your attire or personality just in time for the interview. You are always on stage. Start the interview when you leave your home. Dress for success and conduct yourself properly from the time you leave until the time you return.

Stephen Rebora, R.A., is president of DESMAN Associates and a member of IPI’s Consultants Committee. He can be reached at srebora@desman.com.

TPP-2013-03-Always on Stage