Eco-Friendly Homes Rewarded With Savings
Recycling paper, shopping at the local farmers market, and eating organic food shouldnt be the only sustainable living habits you practice. Have you taken a look at how environmentally friendly your home is? Alongside saving the world, green homes save you on home insurance. By conserving energy, reducing air pollution, minimizing water use, using recycled building materials, and respecting the environment, you can save up to five percent on your home insurance
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The Leadership In Energy & Environmental Design
In order to qualify for a Green Home Discount on your home insurance, you have to be certified by the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED)
. LEED helps you design environmentally friendly building projects, and promotes creative sustainable living ideas and habits.
There are four tiers of green home certification, but your home only needs to rank in the lowest level to be considered green
. You can earn points by reducing your construction wastes, minimizing habitat disturbance, conserving resources, and much more. In short, you can get certified by both how you build your house, and how you live in your house
. Most people dont have the luxury of building a custom home from scratch. In order to give everyone an equal opportunity for certification, LEED also rewards those who can successfully modify their current homes into more sustainable ones.
How Can My Home Get Green Home Certified?
Although separating paper from plastic is a great place to start, youre going to have to go green inside and outside of your home to save money. First, you have to meet the following requirements
- Avoid building on a floodplain.
- Prevent pollution during construction.
- Do not plant invasive species.
- Install a water and energy meter.
- Optimize energy performance and reduce gas emissions by meeting ENERGY STAR requirements.
- Educate all inhabitants on maintenance.
- Decrease air conditioning use.
- Build with nontropical or recycled wood.
- Ventilate homes and garages.
- Reduce radon exposure.
Your home must also be a permanent location and comply with size requirements.
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LEED ranks homes on a point system. Homes with 40+ credits get certified as green homes
. There are eight categories that you can earn credits from. Here are the categories, and what you can do to get credits
- Location and Transportation. This category addresses those in highly populated areas such as urban cities. If youre more likely to use public transportation such as buses and subways than a car, you can earn points from this category. So try finding a home near some means of public transit.
- Materials and Resources. For those building their homes, try to use sustainable and recycled materials, and minimize waste production as youre constructing your home.
- Water Efficiency. Conserve water to earn credit. Consider building a home with a water-efficient plumbing system, and installing water-conserving toilets.
- Energy and Atmosphere. There are hundreds ways to conserve energy. You can start by using fluorescent or LED lighting, buying energy-efficient appliances, and insulating your house.
- Sustainable Sites. To earn points in this category, your home cannot disturb a habitat. Try to minimize landscaping and development on wildlife areas. Another way to qualify in this category is to reduce the use of motion detection lights in your home security system. These systems contribute to light pollution.
- Indoor Environmental Quality. Reduce your energy consumption by using natural solutions. One way to improve your indoor environment is to build a house with lots of windows. Windows reduce electric bills through natural lighting and ventilation.
- Regional Priority. When you address public health issues specific to your region, you can receive credit in this category. For example, if you live in California, you are often at risk of droughts and water shortages. You can work harder to conserve water by incorporating a filtering system, or opting out of sprinklers for your lawn.
- Innovation. LEED awards creativity in sustainable living arrangements. If youve developed a new eco-friendly home innovation, then share it with LEED.