Help with Going Green Tapping Federal and State Incentive Programs

With the green movement in full swing across the country, it is not surprising that incorporating energy saving and efficient measures has trickled into condominium development. Today, many buildings in New Jersey pride themselves for having a variety of eco-friendly features ranging from green roofs, the use of sustainable materials and recycling on-site.

While not all residential condominium buildings are built green from scratch, there are numerous national and state wide energy efficiency, energy conservation and sustainability-encouraging programs available to property managers and residents of condos and co-ops in New Jersey. These programs often offer generous rebates and financial incentives to help offset the initial costs of implementing the green products and technologies and doing so can greatly ease the burden of large utility bills.

National and State Incentives

The federal government offers many programs and incentives that encourage energy efficiency while simultaneously expanding opportunities for home ownership. One such program is the 203(k) program which is administered through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which is part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The program is not for existing homes but rather for individuals who are looking to buy a home. Unlike single family homes, however, the program has certain specifications for condominium units including rehabilitation that is limited to the interior of the unit only and only the lesser of five units per condominium association, or 25 percent of the total number of units, can be undergoing rehabilitation at any one time, according to the HUD website. All projects must be approved by the FHA. Additional information can be found on the HUD's website: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/housing/sfh/203k/203ka bou.

Federal tax credits are also available to residents who have qualifying energy efficient products. “Consumers can use an Energy Star search engine for special offers or rebates locally

available,” says Dale Kemery, press officer at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington D.C. “Not all Energy Star qualified products qualify for a tax credit, but there are tax credits in effect through 2016 on geothermal heat pumps, solar panels, solar water heaters, small wind energy systems, and fuel cells.”

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