What is LEED?
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design: The LEED® Green Building Rating System™ is a voluntary building certification program administered by the United States Green Building Council for the purpose of defining high—performance green buildings. The program features four progressive levels of certification: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. LEED establishes a common standard of measurement for what constitutes “green” buildings through evaluations in the following credit areas: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources and Indoor Environmental Quality. The level of certification awarded to a building depends on the number of points a project earns in each credit area.
LEED-NC v2.2: LEED for New Commercial Construction and Major Renovation
LEED-EB v2.2: LEED for Existing Building Operations and Maintenance
LEED-CI: LEED for Commercial Interiors
LEED-CS: LEED for Core and Shell Development projects
LEED-H: LEED for Homes
LEED-ND: LEED for Neighborhood Development (pilot program)
Source: USGBC, United States Green Building Council, www.usgbc.org
Economic Incentives for Sustainable Design
Energy Policy Act:
Tax deduction for new and renovated commercial buildings designed to use at least 50% less energy than ASHRAE 90.1-2001. The deduction is up to $1.80/ sf of building space. Lesser deductions are available for each of 3 building systems that meet comparable targets to be set by the IRS – building envelope, HVAC and hot water, or lighting.
Tax credit for businesses that install fuel cells and stationary microturbines. Fuel cells: 30% credit of cost up to $500/ half kilowatt of capacity. Microturbines: 10% credit of cost, up to $200 per kilowatt, limit of 2000 kW.
Tax credit for businesses that install solar equipment, including hybrid solar lighting systems, solar electricity, heating, cooling and water heating systems. 30% credit of cost of equipment. (See also “Virginia” for state program.)
Solar Manufacturing Incentive Grant (SMIG) Program
Fund offers up to $4.5 million per year through 2007 to encourage the production of photovoltaic panels in Virginia. The incentive is paid at a rate of up to $0.75 per watt for panels sold in a calendar year, with a maximum of 6 MW.
Local Property Tax Exemption for Solar Energy
Virginia allows any county, city or town to exempt or partially exempt solar energy equipment or recycling equipment from local property taxes. Residential, commercial or industrial property is eligible. The statute broadly defines solar energy equipment as any "application which would otherwise require a conventional source of energy." Recycling equipment is defined as equipment which is "integral to the recycling process and for use primarily for the purpose of abating or preventing pollution of the atmosphere or waters." Cities and counties currently offering an exemption include: Chesterfield, Hanover, Henrico
Virginia State links for water quality grants:
Energy Improvement Loan Program (EILP)
North Carolina provides low interest loans, secured by bank letter of credit (non-applicable for local governments and school systems), for eligible energy conservation measures for industry, commercial businesses, local government units, community colleges, K-12 school systems, and nonprofit organizations.
Private / Non-Profit
Funding Green Buildings by The McAdams Group, including the Online Seminar Series:
The Kresge Foundation Green Building Initiative:
Planning grants available from $25,000 to $100,000:
Bridgemer Investment Properties
EEMs – Energy Efficient Mortgages
North Carolina’s Energy Improvement Loan Program (EILP)
Earthcraft House - Southface and Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association,
Energy Star: US Environmental Protection Agency and US Department of Energy
Home Energy Rating Systems (HERS) Programs Smart Communities Network