Austin Energy’s Green Building Program
Austin ranks in the top ten nationwide for building green homes and Austin Energy’s Green Building Program is considered to be the best energy efficiency program in the country. More than 20 percent of the homes built in Austin are rated green by the program. This doesn’t just include high-end custom homes, but also involves homes built by production builders. And that is just one of many unique aspects of Austin’s Green Building Program.
Austin Energy Rates Homes
How the program works is Austin Energy rates new and remodeled homes on a sustainability scale based on values like energy efficiency, water efficiency, materials used, and health and safety. Receiving a green rating means that the builder, architect or designer coordinated efforts with Austin Energy throughout the building or remodeling process. Some of the services provided by Austin Energy are consultations, workshops for homeowners and seminars for building professionals.
Older Austin Homes can be Energy Efficient
So this doesn’t mean you have to buy a newly built home to be living green in Austin. While a new home is more energy efficient than an older home, there are a number of things homeowners can do to make their home more energy efficient. The Environmental Protection Agency has a WaterSense certification system, which can help consumers choose toilets and other products with better water efficiency. The Energy Star program helps consumers choose energy-efficient appliances and other products.
Rebates for Austin Homeowners
Working in conjunction with the Energy Star program, Austin Energy offers rebates for both residential and commercial customers. Homeowners can get up to $1,575 in rebates for air conditioning, attic insulation, solar screens, caulking, and weather-stripping. Installing energy efficient appliances and solar water heaters not only garner rebates, but also saves money on utility bills.
With today’s low interest rates, it’s a great time to refinance your home and use some of the money you save on your monthly mortgage payment to do some green updates.
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