Giving back power is one of the goals of a relatively new housing industry. Of course, I am talking about sustainable (also know as “green”) building. Many of you know of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED movement. You are seeing that LEED word many places these days – but what does it really mean?
LEED housing meets strict requirements of the US Environmental Protection Agency. There are other green building certifications, but LEED is the most widely known. In order to get LEED certification, homes collect points for green features including energy efficient light bulbs, water-saving toilets, high-efficiency appliances and systems, insulation, and rooftop solar panels.
Energy efficient homes save power with their high efficiency systems. Net-zero homes are designed to generate as much electricity as they use. Sometimes, so much power is generated that the electric meter runs backward. This sends energy back to the grid – giving back the power.
Lowering utility bills is only one of the benefits of green homes. Financial benefits include tax credits and increased resale value. Data shows that green homes increase value about 9% above traditional housing. A green home is a great investment!
Almost 30% of homes built in 2016 will qualify as sustainable housing. This not only benefits home owners. It benefits the world we live in. Solar and wind-powered energy don’t require water or deplete other natural resources. They’re less prone to large-scale failure because they are built in modules that are distributed through a region. A weather disaster may knock out pieces, but the system can usually operate without those pieces.
Renewable energy does impact the environment – but its impacts are less damaging than fossil fuels. Less greenhouse gases which trap heat in the atmosphere are emitted. Health is improved because of air and water quality is improved.
Green certifications of different levels of achievement are awarded by LEED for Homes, Energy Star, and NAHB Green organizations. You can check out their websites for details or you can give me a call. I’d love to help you find a green home in Frederick!