Obama proposes incentives to businesses to enhance energy efficiency

While some property owners may shy away from commercial inspections because they expect a high cost or minimal results, support for energy improvements to these properties is widespread, including from the president of the United States.

During his State of the Union address earlier this week, President Barack Obama pleaded with legislators to provide financial incentives from the government that would allow businesses to embrace energy efficiency and cut their utility costs significantly. Throughout his presidency, Obama has embraced these types of programs, including the Better Buildings Initiative announced last year, which will fund energy improvements for federal buildings.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, commercial buildings are responsible for about 20 percent of total energy consumption in the United States, primarily through the operation of HVAC units and lighting. Among those properties, the energy outputs of office properties, retail facilities and education buildings comprise about half of all commercial energy use.

For these reasons, President Obama supports addressing the issue before energy costs escalate further.

"Help manufacturers eliminate energy waste in their factories and give businesses incentives to upgrade their buildings," Obama told Congress. "Their energy bills will be $100 billion lower over the next decade, and America will have less pollution, more manufacturing, more jobs for construction workers who need them."

Energy costs are expected to rise in the coming years, so business owners can benefit from any form of financial assistance that will reduce their utility bills. Whether they choose to install CFL bulbs, energy-efficient windows or even rely on solar panels to generate power, improvements should be made. A local property inspector will be able to determine which energy enhancements can be completed at a reasonable cost while extending significant financial benefits to the property owner.