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New Legislation Creates Green Building Opportunities

7/20/2009 12:00:00 AM

Tags: energy, climate, legislation, green building

Thinking of building green? Now’s the time. New green building opportunities are coming together in Washington. 

The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 contains several provisions to reward green builders and accelerate green building. The bill encourages consumers to build green homes or remodel their homes to improve energy efficiency through the Green Resources for Energy Efficient Neighborhoods (GREEN) Act. The act encourages the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) to insure at least 50,000 energy-efficient and location-efficient mortgages by December 31, 2012. It also requires federal banking regulators to establish “green banking centers,” which will help customers looking for information about acquiring green mortgages. 

LEED platinum
The government is taking steps to promote green building. Photo By EDubya/Courtesy Flickr. 

The bill also authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WaterSense program to reduce water use and conserve energy by designating products as water efficient. Through Watersense, the bill also provides funding for a program that will reward consumers who use residential water-efficient products, with rebates.

To more easily evaluate residential and commercial buildings’ energy performance, the bill also established The Building Energy Performance Labeling Program, which will direct the EPA in creating consistent energy performance standards for new construction.

The bill also extends the federal government’s purchasing power, allowing it to purchase renewable power for up to 20 years.

The bill still needs Senate approval. If it becomes law, it would completely alter the way the United States approaches energy use. Energy would cost more because it would be more expensive to produce, more fuel-efficient cars would dot the roads and natural gas would be used more than coal.

Buildings account for 40 percent of U.S energy consumption, 39 percent of carbon dioxide emissions and 13 percent of water consumption. We at Natural Home already know the importance of green building; we’re glad to see the government taking steps to promote it.

What do you think about the new energy and climate legislation? Tell me about it in the comments section.

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