New York offers cash incentives to build green

Renovators across New York state are being offered cash to take the financial sting out of the tail of incorporating energy reduction features into their homes.

The First Lady of New York, Silda Wall Spitzer, revealed plans on Tuesday to offer incentives of up to $10,000 per home to help offset the ‘typical 5%’ increase in construction costs when green measures are included in building projects.

At the same David Brown, executive director of state building agency the Dormitory Authority announced that, from next year, all new state building projects announced all public construction projects would have to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) standards laid down by the US Green Building Council.

The authority already has over 70 projects underway, costing over $3.5bn though these will not be obliged to meet LEED standards.

LEED addresses all aspects of building construction and operation, including energy efficiency, land use, water conservation and re-use, indoor air quality, renewable energy, non-toxic landscaping practices, and recycling.

“Buildings are part of the problem of climate change, but they can also be part of the solution if they meet a higher standard for environmental sustainability,” said Ms Wall Spitzer.

“This legislation offers an economic incentive to everyday New Yorkers who would like to make their homes more energy efficient, but are concerned about higher construction costs. The incentive will help defray these upfront costs, which will yield significant energy and cost savings for the homeowner in the long term.

“By working together and making smart building decisions New York State and New Yorkers can achieve reduced energy consumption, decrease our carbon imprint, and save consumers money.”

Mr Brown added: “The Dormitory Authority will design and build energy efficient, forward thinking and environmentally sound state facilities. We are committed to playing a major role in the greening of New York State.”

The announcements are the latest initiatives in Governor Spitzer’s energy and environmental agenda.

Earlier this year, the Governor unveiled his 15 x 15 plan to reduce energy use by 15% from forecasted levels by the year 2015 through new energy efficiency programs intended to reduce energy bills, greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollution.

Sam Bond

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