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Room to grow: incentives boost energy-efficient homebuilding.

Schmidt CW - Environ. Health Perspect. (2008)

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Tax credits, utility rebates, expedited permitting for new construction, even coupons for energy-efficient products (compact fluorescent lamps, for example) are jump-starting the market, ideally in a sustainable way. “These incentives are an important step toward making [energy efficiency] standard in residential settings,” says Edward Legge, a spokesperson for the Edison Electrical Institute, a utility trade association in Washington, DC... Richard Faesy, a senior project manager with the nonprofit Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, says these incentives have boosted Energy Star sales, thus affirming their market value... The credit for an Energy Star–rated house goes directly to the builder (or to owners who manage the construction of their own home), depending on inspection results by a “home energy rater” who is, in turn, certified by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET), a coalition of energy efficiency home inspectors headquartered in Oceanside, California... Home energy raters also evaluate windows, doors, ducts, insulation placement, and mechanical equipment to come up with an overall score for the home. ” Homes qualify for the $2,000 Energy Star credit if they exceed the IECC benchmark rating by 50% or more (or 30% or more for manufactured homes)... Assuming the lower end of that range, Energy Star credits combined could conceivably cover half the “green premium” of a sustainably built 2,000-square-foot home. [For more on this topic, see “Bringing Green Homes Within Reach: Sustainability Meets Affordability,” p... Consumers who want to investigate their options can access the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency, a comprehensive online catalog of organizations that help subsidize sustainable building... Utilities are a growing and often overlooked source of financial incentives for energy-efficient homes. “Across the board, the utility industry is working to grow its incentives programs,” Legge says. “It makes business sense for us to recover costs and to make a return from effective efficiency efforts. ” The most progressive utilities, he adds, help pay for compact fluorescent lamps, more efficient boilers and furnaces, even appliances... Meanwhile, high-density “smart growth” developments that link sustainable housing with public services face perpetual zoning problems, says Ed McMahon, a senior resident fellow at the Urban Land Institute, a nonprofit research and outreach organization in Washington, DC. “No one’s looking at the big picture: mixed-use projects that unite housing and services are inherently green because people drive less,” he explains. “Most zoning regulations favor conventional single-use, suburban development. ” Along those lines, it took years for EcoVillage, a cohousing development in Loudoun County, Virginia, to circumvent zoning restrictions that require much larger lot sizes than those proposed for the “cluster” dwellings in this community, according to McMahon... There are currently 300,000 HOAs nationwide, representing a combined population of nearly 60 million people. “Our goal will be to help community associations across the country develop approaches to sustainability,” Rathbun says. “Each community has to decide what’s appropriate based on its own merits. ” Manufacturers are also getting into the game, doing their part to normalize energy efficiency... Atlantis Energy Systems of Poughkeepsie, New York, for instance, has broadened a line of solar panels that resemble roof tiles, making them less obtrusive than standard panel arrays... The combined influence of these efforts—linked to market forces that make energy-efficient homes environmentally, economically, and aesthetically attractive—have a long way to go to transform traditional housing... But the seeds of change have been planted, and a nascent transformation appears to be under way.

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Room to grow: incentives boost energy-efficient homebuilding.

Schmidt CW - Environ. Health Perspect. (2008)

© Copyright Policy - public-domain
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2199292&req=5

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED EXCERPT
Please rate it.

Tax credits, utility rebates, expedited permitting for new construction, even coupons for energy-efficient products (compact fluorescent lamps, for example) are jump-starting the market, ideally in a sustainable way. “These incentives are an important step toward making [energy efficiency] standard in residential settings,” says Edward Legge, a spokesperson for the Edison Electrical Institute, a utility trade association in Washington, DC... Richard Faesy, a senior project manager with the nonprofit Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, says these incentives have boosted Energy Star sales, thus affirming their market value... The credit for an Energy Star–rated house goes directly to the builder (or to owners who manage the construction of their own home), depending on inspection results by a “home energy rater” who is, in turn, certified by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET), a coalition of energy efficiency home inspectors headquartered in Oceanside, California... Home energy raters also evaluate windows, doors, ducts, insulation placement, and mechanical equipment to come up with an overall score for the home. ” Homes qualify for the $2,000 Energy Star credit if they exceed the IECC benchmark rating by 50% or more (or 30% or more for manufactured homes)... Assuming the lower end of that range, Energy Star credits combined could conceivably cover half the “green premium” of a sustainably built 2,000-square-foot home. [For more on this topic, see “Bringing Green Homes Within Reach: Sustainability Meets Affordability,” p... Consumers who want to investigate their options can access the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency, a comprehensive online catalog of organizations that help subsidize sustainable building... Utilities are a growing and often overlooked source of financial incentives for energy-efficient homes. “Across the board, the utility industry is working to grow its incentives programs,” Legge says. “It makes business sense for us to recover costs and to make a return from effective efficiency efforts. ” The most progressive utilities, he adds, help pay for compact fluorescent lamps, more efficient boilers and furnaces, even appliances... Meanwhile, high-density “smart growth” developments that link sustainable housing with public services face perpetual zoning problems, says Ed McMahon, a senior resident fellow at the Urban Land Institute, a nonprofit research and outreach organization in Washington, DC. “No one’s looking at the big picture: mixed-use projects that unite housing and services are inherently green because people drive less,” he explains. “Most zoning regulations favor conventional single-use, suburban development. ” Along those lines, it took years for EcoVillage, a cohousing development in Loudoun County, Virginia, to circumvent zoning restrictions that require much larger lot sizes than those proposed for the “cluster” dwellings in this community, according to McMahon... There are currently 300,000 HOAs nationwide, representing a combined population of nearly 60 million people. “Our goal will be to help community associations across the country develop approaches to sustainability,” Rathbun says. “Each community has to decide what’s appropriate based on its own merits. ” Manufacturers are also getting into the game, doing their part to normalize energy efficiency... Atlantis Energy Systems of Poughkeepsie, New York, for instance, has broadened a line of solar panels that resemble roof tiles, making them less obtrusive than standard panel arrays... The combined influence of these efforts—linked to market forces that make energy-efficient homes environmentally, economically, and aesthetically attractive—have a long way to go to transform traditional housing... But the seeds of change have been planted, and a nascent transformation appears to be under way.

Show MeSH