Does your city make the cut? A list of the top 10 cities with the greenest homes was released by online real estate broker Redfin, and these 10 cities are definitely heading in the right direction when it comes to green living.
The criteria for making the list includes low carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, energy-efficient features in the home, LEED-certified building, Energy Star appliances/products and an overall focus on being green.
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and it’s the world’s most recognizable set of standards for eco-friendly design. All of the cities making the top 10 list have a relatively high percentage of LEED-certified builders and contractors.
A “green home” is one which uses renewable energy, recycles, reuses, is energy efficient, conserves water, and reduces the overall impact on the environment.
There are varying levels of what a green home actually is – technically, if you install energy-efficient light bulbs throughout the house, your home could be considered a green home.
Other ways to jump on the eco-friendly bandwagon include installing low-flow faucets/showerheads/toilets, using Energy Star qualified appliances, installing a rooftop solar system, or re-insulating your home.
San Francisco, CA
- Lowest CO2 emissions per capita in the country
- Many for-sale homes offer eco-friendly features
- Pacific Gas & Electric offers rebates up to $4,000 for green home upgrades (i.e., insulation, Energy Star appliances, etc.)
- D.C. has the most LEED-certified space in the U.S.
- High rebates and incentives have sparked an interest in eco-friendly building and home upgrades
- Second lowest CO2 emissions in the U.S.
- City is focused on green home design – 800 new homes are in the process of being built that use net-zero electricity
- “Green by 2015” initiative – promotes residential solar panels, efficient use of waste and more
- “E+” Green Building Demonstration Program focused on bringing eco-friendly homes to the Boston area
- Residents have the choice to pay a small premium to receive clean energy (wind, solar, etc.) rather than traditional coal or power plant-derived electricity
- Area Fix-it Fairs show teach residents how to reduce energy, save money and live a more eco-friendly lifestyle
- Ranks second in the nation for homes with green features
- 2009 laws require new government buildings to meet LEED Silver Certification and to feature Energy Star rated cool roofing
- “Green Phoenix” initiative gives homeowners a grant for making eco-friendly upgrades to their home that help reduce energy use
- The city is funding a program to retrofit low-income housing with more energy-efficient features
Los Angeles, CA
- The city offers loans to homeowners up to $50k at 4.99% for upgrading their homes with energy efficient features
- Rebates as high as $4,000 are available to homeowners who make their home more eco-friendly
- Seattle has banned the use of plastic grocery bags
- Financial incentives available for residents who utilize solar power systems
- The city is generally recognized as being very eco-minded
- Home to the nation’s top renewable energy seller, Austin Energy
- Austin Energy offers up to $20k loans at low interest rates for upgrading a home with eco-friendly features
- Many rebates available for energy efficient home upgrades, such as new insulation, Energy Star appliances, low-flow toilets and more