"Green" building practices should be required. They will eventually become part of state building code. Incentives are good, when done well. We don't have an issue with our permitting department, they are quick and efficient compared to many cities, so offering priority in review isn't really an incentice. Our permitting fee's aren't outrageous either, so discounts won't make a difference. I'm not sure what kinds of incentives could be offered that would ultiamtely inact large scale change.
Every house that Habitat For Humanity of Forsyth County has build in the past 8 years has earned an Energy Star rating. If Habitat can do it, every builder should. The net monthly cost to homeowners will go down if it is done right. The increase in mortgage for construction cost will be more than offset by utility bill reductions. The County should encourage Green Building and Energy Star certification of every new home, office, commercial, and industrial property.
A mixture of mandates and incentives is needed to promote green building practices. First we should mandate a minimum standard within our building codes, above where we are today, in order to make a measurable contribution to greenhouse gas reduction. Then, we should provide incentives for those interested and able to go above and beyond the minimum standards. But today’s climate change crisis requires us to move beyond voluntary measures and to mandate change.
If we are to have significant growth in the coming decades, we must immediately adopt practices that will reduce our energy use in order to avoid net long-term increase in CO2 emissions. Two serious ways to reduce energy consumption are through upgrading the existing built environment and mandating energy efficiency in new construction. "Green" would be great because such building practices create value for homes and neighborhoods as well as conserve resources. Energy efficiency should be required.
Because energy consumption in buildings creates such an enormous train on our economy, the Federal Government and North Carolina will likely continue to tighten energy efficiency building codes. The City and County should ADOPT and ENFORCE these as soon as they are promulgated. Communities like Asheville provide development density incentives for developers who earn LEED or similar certification, locate near public transportation, and include affordable housing in the plan. Let's try it here.Kernersville, High Point, Asheville, Catawba County and Mecklenburg County offer building permit fee rebates for buildings meeting LEED or similar certification. Let's try it here. Cities and counties can establish revolving loan programs to finance renewable energy and energy efficiency projects that are permanently affixed to residential, commercial or other real property. Let's try it here.
Absolutely! This is a no brainer.
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