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How Can I Save Green When Buying A Green Home?

Green building is here to stay!  So if you’re thinking of buying a home in Saratoga, Los Gatos or Monte Sereno or you are thinking of remodeling your existing residence, you need to know what elements of a “green home”* are most cost effective. There are also federal incentives for you to act during 2010.

If you’re looking to buy green, beware – there are a lot of conflicting claims and options out there. That’s one of the reasons why the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is emerging as the “recognized standard for measuring building sustainability,” according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. A LEED certification recognizes that a construction project or building uses environmentally friendly building practices. You can find out more by visiting www.nrdc.org.

The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy created the Energy Star program in 1992, which identifies 50 product categories that will help save energy costs.

  • Today, more than 75% of American households recognize the ENERGY STAR label!
  • In 2009 alone, ENERGY STAR helped Americans save nearly $17 billion on their utility bills
  • Since 2000, about 3 billion ENERGY STAR labeled products have been sold

Save money (30% of your costs up to $1,500) with federal tax credits,  good through December 31, 2010 for certain energy efficient improvements (HVAC, insulation, roofs, water heaters, windows and doors) to your principal residence.  There are no upper limits and you have until 2016 to get tax credits for geothermal heat pumps, small wind turbines and solar energy systems – this includes new construction.

* Not to be confused with greenhouses for the elderly I wrote about in an earlier blog post.

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