Rebates & Tax Incentives: Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU)—Green for Green Home Rebate

This financial incentive is administered by the Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU) and is only available within Delaware, but other states offer similar programs. In partnership with the Home Builders Association of Delaware, the Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility offers energy efficiency rebate to new home certified by the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) of the Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED). This rebate is also available to homes who have a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) of 59 or less. To qualify for incentives, homes must be built by program-approved builders, and the rebate application bust be submitted by …

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Green Investment Resources: The International Green Construction Code (IgCC)

Understanding the governing bodies behind green and sustainable codes can allow homeowners to reap the benefits of rebates and other tax incentives. The International Green Construction Code, also known as IgCC, is one of those bodies. This code provides a comprehensive set of requirements intended to reduce the negative impact of buildings on the natural environment. The code can be readily used by manufacturers, design professionals, and contractors for a variety of projects in unlimited situations. The IgCC was developed by the International Code Council in association with cooperating sponsors, such as ASTM International and the American Institute of Architects. …

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Financing Options: Make Your Home Green When You Buy (or Sell) It

Image Credit: Adrian Smith/Gordon Gill Architecture While money and monthly budgets are often tight when buying or selling a home, there are also one-time opportunities available to finance significant upgrades to the property and make your home a greener residence. Whether it’s new insulation and weather-stripping, solar roof panels or solar water heater, geothermal, xeriscaping, or some other green investment, be sure to seriously consider any upgrade you may want to make before settling on the terms of the sale and finalizing the loan terms.   Home loan add-ons: So long as you know what green-minded updates you want for …

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Green Investment Resources: SRI and Environmental Investment

Green investments are, essentially, investment activities which focus on companies and projects committed to one of the following missions.   The conservation of natural resources The production and discovery of alternative energy sources The implementation of clean air and water projects Any other environmentally conscious business practice   The term, though ubiquitous in nature, applies to a very specific type of investment. Colloquially, a green or environmental investment is one in which the activities, in a popular context, could be considered good for the environment—either directly or indirectly. A green portfolio can include anything from securities and mutual funds to …

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Financing Options: Make a Green Investment with Home Equity

Home equity is an increasingly popular strategy for financing large-scale projects, such as remodels and renovations. Though not an explicitly “green” method, drawing from home equity is an excellent method for kickstarting your environmentally-conscious investment. A home equity line of credit, also called HELOC, is a loan in which a lender agrees to lend an amount of funds where the collateral is the borrower’s equity in their house. Similar to a second mortgage, homeowners often use this resource for additional investments, such as home improvement. In the first quarter of 2017, the United States had $13.7 trillion in home equity, …

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Rebates & Tax Incentives: Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit

The Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit allows taxpayers to claim a credit of 30% of qualified expenses for a system serving a housing unit within the United States. The housing unit must be owned and used as a resident by the taxpayer, and expenses include labor costs for on-site preparation, assembly or system installation, and for piping or wiring to connect a system to the home. Maximum allowable credits vary by technology, but solar energy appears to reap the highest reward–in 2017, the average EnergySage Solar Marketplace shopper saved over $5,000 as a result of this tax credit.   Below, …

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Green Investment Resources: LEED Certification

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, known colloquially as LEED, is a rating system created by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). The system is designed to evaluate the environmental performance of a specific building, and concomitant benefits encourage the market’s transformation into sustainable designs and Green energy production. The system is credit-based, and projects earn points for specific environmentally friendly actions taken during both the construction and the use of a building. LEED Certification Levels, as well as their corresponding points values, follow below.   Certified—40-49 Points Silver—50-59 Points Gold—60-79 Points Platinum—80-110 Points   LEED points are awarded …

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Rebates and Tax Incentives: New York Green Building Tax Exemption

On July 18th of 2012, Governor Cuomo of New York signed into law the authorization for municipal corporations to provide a tax exemption for improvements to property started after January 1st, 2013 and which meet green certification standards. This state law provides authorization for the local jurisdiction to take action, though local law may specify a later date. All buildings certified as in compliance with ANSI-approved ICC 700 National Green Building Standards are eligible. This property tax exemption is only available if the remodel or renovation increases the previously-assessed value of the property. The value of this improvement must exceed …

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Green Investment Resources: Professional Home Energy Audits

Energy audits are a simple and easy way to save money and improve your overall home comfort. An energy assessment will provide significant details to assess the ways in which your home utilizes energy. By conducting a room-by-room examination of a residence and a thorough review of past utility bills, a professional can better understand the areas of your home which generate the most waste and cost the most money. When conducting a home energy audit, the professional will conduct a series of tests. This can include a blower door test, a thermographic scan, and a PFT air infiltration measurement. …

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Green Investment Resources: National Green Building Standard

The National Green Building Standard is approved by the American National Standards Institute as an American National Standard. NGBS provides critical criteria for rating the environmental impact of design and construction practices in order to achieve the conformance with optimal performance levels in green residential buildings. Incentives exist for NGBS Green-certified projects, but they vary by state. All NGBS state incentive programs are listed on the Home Innovation website. Financing avenues and federal agencies can also comply with NGBS standards. Fannie Mae, for example, recently announced additional green loan incentives, a free Energy and Water Audit opportunity, and access to additional …

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