Tag Archives: go green

From Grid Bike Share's website

14,000 miles traveled during Grid Bike Share’s 1Q

The Grid Bike Share program boasted a successful first quarter since the launch of the program in November.

The program has garnered 2,250 members since the start and that number is growing.

Bike share members have cumulatively racked up 11,000 trips totaling 14,075 miles in the first quarter of the program, according to the Phoenix Street Transportation Department.

It is also estimated that the system has helped offset 11,700 pounds of carbon. Users also burned a combine total of 530,100 calories.

Grid Bike Share started with 100 bikes at 27 locations.  Due to the success, there are plans in place for the program to expand. The system will increase to 500 bikes and 50 stations in Phoenix alone.

In the coming months, bike share enthusiasts will notice similar bike share systems starting in Mesa and Tempe. These locations will be more regionalized but Grid Bike Share will still be the company to provide users with the bikes and hubs.

Once the share expands to Mesa and Tempe, it is estimated 1,000 bikes will be at 100 bike stations across the three participating cities.

The system is simple to operate. Bikes are available to users 24/7. Users reserve a bike using the free mobile app, Social Bicycles. From there, riders can unlock the bike at the station with the keypad located on the back of the bike.

Rides vary in pricing. Users can select from a $5 per hour plan. For more avid users, block plans are available for $30 per month or $79 per year. Students can use the system for $59 each year. The block plans do limit to 60 minutes free per day.

Users must be at least 18 years old with a credit or debit card to check out bikes while riders need to be at least 16 years old.

If users want to stop, they can press, “HOLD” and lock the bike. Once they are done with the bike, they can lock the bike at any of the station hubs or at any bike rack for an additional fee of $2. Users will be charged $20 if the bike is locked outside of the system area.

Bike shares initially started popping up in Europe in the mid ’70s. The French city La Rochelle is credited with the first successful program, Yellow Bikes, as it is still in place today. Yellow Bikes is free for the first two hours, and then members start to incur charges.

Bike share programs are a growing trend in the U.S. following a spike in Europe.

New York City is home to the largest bike share in the U.S. with 1000s of bikes and 100s of stations. Cities such as Los Angeles, Portland, Nashville, and many more have begun to implement the bike sharing system as well.

GSR5620 - Womens-1

"Joggings" Are Happening AND are Actually Pretty Cool

While it may not be socially acceptable to take a jog in jeans, one of the trends for men and women this fall/winter season is bending the rules.

Jog jeans, a unique fusion of not only style and comfort but of design and denim, are the perfect medium for anyone deciding which pair to wear: sweats or jeans.

What’s really outstanding about the new trend is how the look and feel is achieved. Died in an indigo wash, and then designed with signature denim details, the jog jean surpasses past trends like “jeggings.” As much as the exterior looks and feels like denim, the soft sweat knit fabric on the inside makes for a notable difference.

One variation of the trend can be found at G-Star Raw located in Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall.

The GSR 5620 for men and women mixes classic sweat details at the hem and wait with G-Star Elwood denim pocket details.

aps green night

Phoenix Suns Host ‘APS Green Night’ Against Lakers

The atmosphere at US Airways Center always feels a little different when the Phoenix Suns host the Los Angeles Lakers. There is a sense of passion, excitement and energy that only occurs when a long-time rival such as the Lakers comes to town.

It will be no different on Saturday, April 7, except for the energy. Not the energy from the fans or the players, but the kind powering the arena. One hundred percent of the electricity used at US Airways Center during Saturday night’s Suns-Lakers matchup will come from renewable energy provided by Arizona Public Service.

Phoenix Suns “APS Green Night” is being held in conjunction with NBA Green Week 2012, a league initiative running April 4-11 encouraging fans to “Go Green.” Tip-off is set for 7 p.m., with doors scheduled to open at 5:30 p.m.

Throughout the game, the Phoenix Suns and APS will communicate “Green Tips” both in-arena and during the Suns TV and radio broadcasts, in addition to giving away 1,000 compact florescent light bulbs (CFL’s) to two lucky ticket sections.

APS and the Phoenix Suns will also celebrate the newly dedicated APS SunsPowered Solar Structure, a 227-killowatt solar system located on the roof of the US Airways Center parking garage. The APS-owned system utilizes 966 solar panels, covers approximately 17,000 square feet and produces 378,000 kilowatt-hours of energy each year – enough to power 20 game days each season for the Suns.

A limited number of tickets are still available for the Suns-Lakers matchup on Saturday night. Fans can purchase theirs today at Suns.com or by calling 1-800-4NBA-TIX.

Green tax incentives 2010

Go Green With Government Tax Incentives

The increased cost of energy, the country’s dependence on foreign oil and the environmental impact of current energy use have inspired many companies to “go green.” Federal and state governments are expanding tax credits, tax incentives and grant programs to create economic incentives to help companies produce and/or use energy from renewable sources. Here are a few tips to help your company “go green.” As with all tax advice, be sure to consult with an expert as these laws are subject to various limitations, phase-outs and other nuances.

Federal incentives and credits for general businesses

  • Energy-efficient commercial business deduction – Businesses can deduct up to $1.80 per square foot of space in new or existing buildings where they install interior lighting, HVAC or hot water systems.

  • Business energy investment tax credit – A 10 percent credit (for geothermal, microturbines or combined heat and power systems) or a 30 percent credit (for solar, fuel cells or small wind turbines) for alternative energy property designed to generate power for the taxpayer’s own use.

  • Alternative motor vehicle credit – A tax credit of up to $2,400 for the purchase of a qualifying fuel cell, hybrid, advanced lean burn technology or alternative fuel vehicle. There are various phase-outs depending on the make and model of the vehicle.

  • Plug-in electric vehicle credit – A credit of up to $7,500 (depending on type of vehicle) for consumers, including businesses and individuals, who purchase or lease and place in service a qualifying plug-in hybrid vehicle.

  • Qualified reuse and recycling property – Businesses can take the equivalent of bonus depreciation for qualified reuse and recycling property that otherwise would not qualify. The machinery or equipment must be used exclusively to collect, distribute or recycle qualified reuse and recyclable materials.

  • Fringe benefits for employees – Bicycle commuters are now allowed a $20 per month fringe benefit exclusion and the transit fringe benefit exclusion has been increased to $230 in 2009.

Federal incentives for specific manufacturers and developers

  • Energy-efficient appliance credit – Provides manufacturers of appliances a credit for the production of energy-efficient clothes washers ($75–$250), dishwashers ($45–$75) and refrigerators ($50–$200).

  • Energy-efficient new homes credit – Provides homebuilders and developers a credit of up to $2,000 for newly constructed homes that meet certain energy-efficiency standards.

  • Alcohol fuel (ethanol) producer credit – Businesses can take a 60 cent per 190-proof gallon credit for alcohol produced for use as a fuel or to be blended into fuel. An additional 10 cents per gallon small ethanol producer credit is available, as is a higher credit rate for cellulosic biofuel.

  • Biodiesel and renewable diesel credit – Provides up to a $1.00 per gallon credit for qualifying biodiesel and renewable diesel, similar to the ethanol credit. The incentive may be taken as an income tax credit, an excise tax credit or as a payment from Treasury.

Arizona-specific incentives

  • Renewable energy operations credit – Arizona enacted a refundable corporate income tax credit for qualified investment and employment in expanding or locating qualified renewable energy operations in Arizona.  The credit is available for tax years beginning on or after December 31, 2009 through December 31, 2014. The credit is 10 percent of the capital investment in projects meeting minimum employment requirements.

  • Pollution control equipment credit – Taxpayers may claim an income tax credit for 10 percent of the purchase price of property used in the taxpayer’s business to control pollution.  The credit applies to certain qualifying equipment that reduces the pollution resulting from the taxpayer’s operations in Arizona.  The maximum credit that a taxpayer may claim is $500,000 per tax year.

  • Ken Garrett is a partner and the tax practice leader in the Phoenix office of Grant Thornton, LLP. For more information, please contact Ken at 602.474.3456 or at ken.garrett@gt.com