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How financial institutions can benefit from energy initiatives

Jul 09, 2023
By: Philip L. Yasenak

Can you turn on the TV, read a newspaper or surf the internet without getting information on ways to lessen your environmental impact? 

It seems like every company is building new or improved products with this in mind. You even hear about major car companies that plan to have their fleet of vehicles run mainly on electric power by the year 2035.

As society continues to head in this direction, what does it mean for us as consumers, and is there a demand for this change?

The Inflation Reduction Act

Options for consumers who want to purchase environmentally friendly products will continue to grow, allowing them to feel good about their purchases benefiting the environment.

For now, it seems the demand isn’t quite there yet, but the government is helping create this demand with the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

Most people have probably heard of the energy tax credits that can be received from the purchase of an electric vehicle, adding energy improvements to their home, using solar or wind energy, and other green initiatives. These credits have been enhanced with the IRA and now give financial institutions options to improve the environment, save costs and receive a tax credit. 

Benefits for financial institutions

With the passing of the IRA, there are several credits that financial institutions can explore to accomplish their environmental goals, including the new clean vehicle credit, the alternative fuel vehicle refueling property credit and the investment tax credit. These credits help incentivize green programs for financial institutions.

Choosing the ones that can offer the most benefit for your financial institution requires planning.

For example, I have worked with several financial institutions over the past few years who have wanted to explore the benefits of adding solar panels to their buildings. 

Having a bank of solar panels on the roof of your institution not only has the potential to reduce your long-term costs, but also lets your customers and community know that you are taking steps to improve the environment. 

If your financial institution is interested in using solar power for energy, first get an analysis from the company installing the solar panels. Then, you can look at the tax and other benefits that can be received and evaluate them to determine the total cost savings you can expect to receive from your investment.

How Wipfli can help

The IRA’s energy credits provide your financial institution with an opportunity to capitalize on your sustainability efforts. But navigating their requirements and ensuring your energy projects qualify can be challenging.

Wipfli has a dedicated energy credit tax team that’s ready to help you maximize your potential benefits. We use our deep knowledge of incentives to help your institution stay on top of requirements and align opportunities with your strategic priorities.

Contact us today to learn how we can help you strengthen your tax planning.

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Philip L. Yasenak, CPA
Senior Manager
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