The Sustainable Energy Utility, Inc. (SEU) and the Home Builders Association of Delaware are again teaming-up to bring back the popular Green For Green Program. The program will offer rebates to new home buyers who purchase and non-profits who build high energy efficiency homes that are certified by the National Green Building Standard (NGBS), or Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED), or that have a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) of 59 or less.
Rebates will range between $1000 and $4500 for newly constructed homes depending on the level of sustainability certifications and energy savings. Sustainability upgrades for energy efficiency, water conservation, indoor air quality, building material and other conservation-oriented features are all considered in the certifications. To qualify for a rebate, a new home must be certified by a third party inspector and meet the standards of NGBS, LEED or HERS and follow the guidelines of the Delaware Green For Green Program.
In 2010 and 2011, when this was offered as a pilot program through the SEU, nearly 200 new home buyers received rebates. The construction activity accounts for nearly 5% of all homes built in Delaware during that time. When compared to homes built to standard codes, it is estimated that these homes will see a total of $2,371,000 in energy savings over their lifetime. The average rebate was $4000.
Senator Harris McDowell, Chairman of the SEU said “Energy efficiency is the best way to a clean energy future; the Green For Green Pilot Program proved that more efficient homes make economic and environmental sense; so we are very happy to team with the Home Builders Association of Delaware to offer this program again.” Funded with money from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) the rebates will fund sustainability features for approximately 170 homes in 2013 alone.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a cooperative effort among the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Together these states have capped and will reduce power sector CO2 emissions 10 percent by 2018. A report issued in November 2012, estimates that RGGI investments, like Delaware Green For Green Program, will offset the need for more than 27 million megawatt hours of electricity generation and 26.7 million British Thermal Units (BTUs) of energy generation. This savings will help avoid the emission of 12 million short tons of carbon dioxide pollution, an amount equivalent to taking 2 million passenger vehicles off the road for one year.
“Delaware is emerging as a national leader in green home building,” said Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Collin O’Mara. “The ‘Green For Green’ program promotes green homes that provide significant environmental and financial benefits for homeowners and all Delawareans by using less energy, water and resources and providing a healthier and safer environment.”
In 2012 a complete evaluation was done, and it was determined that the program should be offered again with a few improvements. The new program will reward both sustainability achievements and energy efficiency with the greatest rebates going to homes that meet the highest levels of overall efficiency. New this year will be recognizing homes with HERS rating index 59 or less. The lower the score the better, an index score of 100 is considered to be a standard home. The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index is the common standard by which a home’s energy efficiency is measured. By adopting the HERS rating in addition to the NGBS and LEED; the SEU hopes to attract more home builders to the program. Furthermore, the SEU will reimburse home builders for certification expenses up to $500. In order to increase the number of rebates available to Delawareans, rebates have been re-aligned with higher standards. It is estimated that the average rebate will be $1800 while average energy efficiency will increase 15%. Additionally, this year there will be 10% set aside in the rebate budget for non-profit home builders like Habitat for Humanity who will receive the rebates directly from the program. The program will still require that homes in subdivisions must be located in designated growth areas according to the Delaware Strategies for State Policies and Spending. While some exceptions will be considered, in general non-growth area are not served by infrastructure and services, tend to consume more land and require inefficient expenditures of taxpayers’ dollars, and have greater impacts on natural resources, traffic and roads, agriculture and air quality.
The Green For Green program will be administered through the Homebuilders Association of Delaware. Home buyers can access the program through Delaware home builders who have registered and qualify for the program. Both home buyers and home builders can learn more about the program through the website: www.degreen4green.com. The Home Builders Association of Delaware is very excited to see the program come back. “HBADE is proud to once again partner with the SEU and the State of Delaware to bring the Green for Green program to help Delaware new home buyers receive rebates for energy efficient and green minded new homes”, said Fred Fortunato, President of HBADE.
Two orientation workshops are scheduled to be held on the following dates. The purpose of these workshops will be to inform home builders, verifiers, and raters of the program.
- February 13, 2013 (Wednesday) 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. – DNREC Auditorium, 89 Kings Hwy., Dover, DE 19901
- February 28, 2013 (Thursday) 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. – DNREC Auditorium, 89 Kings Hwy., Dover, DE 19901