A business group is pushing federal officials to renew tax credits for investment in renewable energy technology. Mark Schroder owns a business in Urbandale that installs new LED lighting all over the state, and is part of the group behind the effort. “We feel as a small business owner that if these tax incentive were reinstated, that would (make) a tremendous impact on our Iowa economy,” Schroder says.

He says the tax credits would help him and others hire more people to retrofit businesses. But right now things are on hold. Schroder says they are running into businesses that want to hold off on making updgrades in 2014 until they see what happens with the tax credits.

One of the concerns is it can take five to seven years for businesses to see a payback on the investment in more energy efficient lighting. “Tax incentives can — in conjunction with utility company rebates — we can actually see paybacks in less than a year,” Schroder says. He says the utility companies have been good in Iowa in offering rebates.

Schroder says the sooner federal officials act on the tax credits, the sooner businesses can work upgrades into their budgets. “Rather than wait ’til the 11th hour — December 29th — and make a decision, we’d like to see something happen much sooner than that so businesses in Iowa can   make those plans and make those decisions, and move forward…on energy efficient upgrades,” Schroder says.

Iowa’s entire congressional delegation has signed onto a letter urging their colleagues to renew the tax credits. Credits for investment in renewable energy technology and production of electricity expired at the end of 2013.