Energy Partnerships for Schools

Entities such as schools that own education facilities but don’t pay federal income taxes can take advantage of federal tax credits for renewable energy installations that may lower costs by as much as 40 percent. American School & University reports in its March issue that even in tough economic times, great opportunities exist for governments, schools and tax-exempt organizations interested in using renewable energy to reduce operating costs. This is especially true for cities and schools where declining tax revenues and high operating costs are forcing employee and program cutbacks.

The article offers tips for energy savings by creating partnerships and investigating tax credit options.It describes how the partnerships work and brings up the the “Morris Model,” which essentially involves making a private solar development company the owner of a project for federal income-tax purposes, but a lessee for state law purposes.

As long as such sales of energy are allowed in your state, and you have a good partner, this public-private partnership can be a powerful solution to your school’s budget problems.