Incentives for Green Building
One of the most important ways to spur “green building” practices is through financial incentives. These incentives often come from government at the local, state and federal levels, but may also be supplied by private groups and organizations involved in the green building movement. Incentives may be offered in numerous forms. Here are some of the most common methods:
Tax Credits and Waivers – Tax credits often are in the form of crediting tax liabilities to the owner of the project. Tax waivers, or abatements, often allow property owners to avoid paying taxes for a period of time. While there are multiple reasons for doing this, like reducing the use of natural resources or promoting cleaning buildings, the local government often recoups the lost or deferred tax revenue through the increased assessed property values down the road.
Grants – Grants can be a great source of funding for project owners to offset costs and potentially make green building more profitable. Generally, in order to obtain a grant from a local governmental entity, the owner has to submit a proposal which may be based on pre-specified goals or other criteria.
Rebates – Simply stated, rebates can get you back money for building green. There are numerous energy-efficient products that may be eligible for rebates, and developers or home-builders should check with the products manufacturer or the city or state to see what they can get back. Examples of items include laundry machines, solar water heaters, windows, insulation, and roof or roof systems.
Reduced fees – Some state and local governments lower or waive fees that usually come with the construction process, such as permitting, for contractors or developers undertaking green building practices. This can save owners a lot of money, especially on larger projects.