A City and a County Launch Green Building Incentive Programs

first_imgLas Vegas and North Carolina’s Mecklenburg County have joined a growing list of cities trying to stimulate green construction by offering rebates to builders and, in Nevada, remodelers as well.Last week, Las Vegas officials announced that the city launched its Green Building Rebate Program, which offers rebates for new construction and existing commercial and residential retrofits that meet standards set by any one of five green building rating programs: U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED system; the Southern Nevada Green Building Partnership; the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes assessment tool (whose standards, which are for commercial projects, are developed under the auspices of the American National Standards Institute); NV Energy’s Energy Plus New Homes program for single-family homes (within regional utility NV Energy’s service area); and NV Energy’s Sure Bet program for nonresidential NV Energy customers.The rebates cover fees for expedited plans checks, building permits, and certifications. In addition, notes a press release issued by the city, the building or project will be recognized on the city’s website or in future promotional materials.The Las Vegas program, which applies to projects with a start date of July 2, 2009, or later, is offered in collaboration with NV Energy and HomeFree Nevada, a “whole house” home-improvement initiative based on Energy Star guidelines.In the Tar Heel StateA program that since last year has offered rebates on green commercial construction in Mecklenburg County (on the southern border of central-western North Carolina) has recently been expanded to include residential construction.Five certification programs are participating in the county’s rebate initiative: USGBC’s LEED for Homes; Green Globes; EarthCraft House; the North Carolina HealthyBuilt Homes program; and the National Association of Home Builders’ National Green Building Standard.The Charlotte Business Journal notes that rebates can cover as much as 25% of net permit fees, up to $100,000. Rebate amounts also are tied to the rating level of the project, with, for example, a LEED Silver certification bringing a 15% rebate and a LEED Platinum rating bringing a 25% rebate. Builders must apply to the county’s code enforcement department before receiving a certificate of occupancy, and the county must receive proof of certification before granting a rebate.last_img

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