I am renovating my home and I would like to install energy-efficient features and appliances. Where do I start and are there grants and/or rebates available?
Ask your Liz Moore Green-designated Realtor about how to get started . An energy audit of your home is a great place to start. Based on the results of several industry-standard tests, licensed companies who conduct energy audits can evaluate the usage of your home’s current energy and make recommendations on how to conserve energy and save money. Virginia Natural Gas conducts energy audits for its customers. For more information, go to www.virginianaturalgas.com/energysmart/ . The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy’s website, www.dmme.virginia.gov , is an excellent resource on the values of an energy audit, how to locate licensed auditors, AND find information on energy grants and rebates. Explore Energy Star’s website, www.energystar.com , for information on Federal energy rebates and www.dsireuse.org is a clearing house for Virginia’s programs. The American Building Performance Rating System (RESNET), a national non-profit standards organization, uses a home energy rating system index (HERS) to evaluate and rate energy efficiency in existing homes and new construction. Why is this rating important? The mortgage industry uses these ratings to capitalize on mortgage energy efficiencies and the Federal government uses the ratings to verify building energy performance for Federal tax credit qualification and EPA Energy Star-labeled homes. For more information, go to www.natresnet.org.
From a resale standpoint, homes with verifiable “green” features sell more quickly, for more money, and are becoming more and more desirable to buyers as awareness and value increases. Work is underway to identify through Multiple Listing Services “green” features and certifications in new construction and resale homes.

Posted By: Carol Davanay on Friday, March 05, 2010