Is a LEED Certification Worth The Cost?

What is GREEN? What constitutes a GREEN home? There are several GREEN certifications available that spell out how GREEN a particular home is. The is one such certification. It utilizes a point based system, which some argue does not focus enough on the homes actual and water conservation. Another downside is the cost of the certification. A recently built home on Chicago’s north side featured 2900 sq. ft, and a certification price tag for the application, consulting fees and the adding of a few features required to achieve the Certification not in the original plan. The price tag for this project,  $6,000 to $8,000.

The homeowners took a pass on the LEED certification and opted for the much less expensive, $650, Home Energy Rating System (HERS) report. These types of reports are used by the Environmental Protection Agency to determine if a home currently meets the Energy Star level. This type of report is gaining popularity as a measure of energy efficiency, and as you can see much more affordable.  You can visit http://www.resnet.us/energy-rating for an example of a HERS report.

On the positive side of the LEED certification is how it can affect resale. A recent new construction home with a pending LEED certification obtained a 3% gain over its appraised value. Also some banks and mortgage companies are starting to recognize the savings an energy efficient home can achieve and are increasing the amount that can be borrowed. They realize the money saved in lower utility bills can pay a slightly larger mortgage.

As always you will need to do your homework and choose the option that will work best for your particular set of circumstances.

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