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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Financing Options: FHA PowerSaver Loan Program

This financial resource, provided by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), offers three financing options for homeowners to make sustainable and renewable energy upgrades to homes. Borrowers must select from a list of Housing and Urban Development approved PowerSaver lenders. Additionally, this program is not available in all states, so be sure to check availability at the HUD website. The products offered by this program include: PowerSaver Home Energy Upgrade, PowerSaver Second Mortgage (Title I), and PowerSaver Energy Rehab (203(k)).   The PowerSaver Home Energy Upgrade is the smallest consumer loan available under this program—up to $7,000. It is an unsecured …

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Rebates and Tax Incentives: Energy Upgrade California

Energy Upgrade California® is a statewide initiative. It is created to help Californians save energy, preserve natural resources, becoming more energy independent, and make informed choices about their energy use. California is on a mission to double their energy efficiency and hopes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% before 2030. This would take the state back to emission levels that existed prior to 1990. This goal will be difficult to achieve, but rebate programs, such as those offered in Energy Upgrade California, will allow building owners to more actively participate.   This initiative was created to both motivate and …

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Financing Options: Solar Energy Costs

The cost of putting a solar energy system on your roof has decreased by two thirds in less than a decade. This means that getting power from the sun can be significantly cheaper than buying it from your local utility. However, investing in solar does more than lower your monthly bill—it creates jobs, reduces your carbon footprint, and reduces local air pollution. Though energy from the sun is free, home and building owners need a way to capture the rays. The energy is most often captured by solar PV systems; the one-time up-front cost can be intimidating (often more than …

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What is a Green Home? Why Should I Invest?

A “green home,” simply, is a house built or remodeled to conserve energy and water, improve indoor air quality, use sustainable and recyclable materials, and produce less waste. The benefits of owning or building a green home include lower utility bills, such as water, gas, and electricity, a smaller carbon footprint, improved air quality (for better occupant health), and an improved resale value.   Most homeowners justify installing green features in their new or remodeled home by measuring the payback period—the length of time it may take for the savings from a project to justify the upfront cost. Additionally, financing …

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