Model Policies

Landlords and sellers must disclose the energy performance of buildings to renters/buyers. Commercial buildings must also disclose energy usage data to the EPA and State Department of Energy. Violations are subject to civil penalties. Additionally, buildings and homes meeting energy efficiency criteria may be eligible for property tax exemption.

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Energy Audits, Benchmarking, and Disclosure, Incentive
State: Oregon

In addition to the state energy goals of reducing fossil fuel usage by 15% by 2015 and increasing the total renewable energy use to 25%, the Next Generation Energy Act requires utilities to provide technical assistance for all residential and commercial projects that incorporate green building practices in their construction.

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Energy Audits, Benchmarking, and Disclosure, Green Building, Incentive
State: Minnesota

Eagle County's comprehensive, point-based program is mandatory. Home size determines the number of points needed to achieve each level of certification. Plan review and inspection of program elements is fully integrated into the standard permitting and inspection process. Buildings exceeding minimum standards are eligible for rebates.

Focus: Residential
Category: Green Building, Incentive
State: Colorado

With the 2010 Ordinance 1331, the city of Telluride adopted a green building program that applies to all new construction, additions, and remodels of commercial, residential, and multi-family homes and requires compliance with energy and green building codes. The city has created the Telluride Energy Mitigation Program (TEMP) that requires all excessive exterior energy use, larger homes, and heated garages mitigate or offset the impacts of the additional energy requirements by either using an on-site renewable energy source or making a payment in lieu. This includes outdoor pools, heated garages, and spas/ hot tubs. An energy code review fee equal to 20% of the project's building permit fee must be paid to cover the costs associated with verifying compliance. Funds from the energy code review and TEMP program will be used on town projects. Violating any portion of the ordinance will result in a misdemeanor, punishable upon conviction by a penalty as set in...

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Green Building, Incentive
State: Colorado

Charlotte County Board of Commissioners adopted a Green Building Ordinance establishing a Green Building Program. New residential projects and residential renovation projects that are certified under the LEED for Homes Rating System and new commercial projects, commercial renovation projects that are certified under the appropriate LEED Rating System, and land developments that are certified under the LEED for Neighborhood Development Rating System, are all eligible to participate in this program. All program participants are eligible for fast-track permitting and will be included in a marketing program to promote green building in Charlotte County. The County Board may adopt at a later date a resolution providing monetary incentives for green building, if County funds allow. Also, once the County Comprehensive Plan is adopted, the County Board will consider offering additional incentives including density bonuses for projects that are certified at LEED Silver and...

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Green Building, Incentive
State: Florida

The Tampa Fast Track Review Checklist is not a rating system. It is a means whereby city staff can determine if a project meets certain sustainability criteria as to warrant a faster plan review. Some requirements include:

New and renovated municipal buildings 5,000 ft2 or larger must achieve LEED Silver.

Commercial buildings 5,000 ft2 or larger are required to comply with a third-party rating system, LEED or FGBC.

Residential and commercial buildings less than 5,000 ft2 must meet six requirements.

Other systems are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Grants are available to help with permitting costs.

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Green Building, Incentive
State: Florida

"Nashville has a voluntary green certificate program, offers density bonus incentives in designated neighborhoods, and has mandatory requirements for municipal buildings. To receive a green certificate of occupancy, commercial buildings must earn LEED Certified, specifically requiring WEc3.1 (20% water use reduction); residential buildings must submit proof of LEED or EarthCraft Homes certification. In the downtown area, development in the Central Business District is eligible to increase the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) cap from 15 to 17 if the project achieves LEED Silver. Projects in this district benefit from a FAR of 19 if the project achieves LEED Gold. In the South of Broadway (SoBro) neighborhoods, developments are eligible to increase the FAR cap from 5 to 7 if the project achieves LEED Silver. Projects in these neighborhoods benefit from a FAR cap of 9 if LEED Gold is achieved. All public and publicly-funded building projects of 5,000 ft2 or greater (or...

Focus: Commercial, Multi-Family, Residential
Category: Green Building, Incentive
State: Tennessee

All residential and commercial structures designed to achieve green building certification will receive priority plan review. Commercial buildings must be designed to achieve, at a minimum, LEED silver, which residential homes must be designed to achieve, at a minimum, LEED Homes silver, Nation Green Building Standards (NGBS) silver, Earthcraft select status, or Green Globes (3 to 5 green globes).

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Green Building, Incentive
State: Virginia

In a broad partnership of city resources (Washington State Department of Energy, Puget Sound Electric and others), Seattle provides customized green building education, early design guidance, technical assistance, incentives, and recognition of sustainable building. They recognize and support a variety of third party verification programs including Built Green and LEED. They have published a series of green guides for various project types and resource lists. The city not only provides extensive information on external incentives, it also provides incentives such as FAR bonuses in certain areas, expedited review service, etc.

Focus: Commercial, Multi-Family, Residential
Category: Green Building, Incentive
State: Washington

Pima County's comprehensive, point-based program is voluntary. Home size determines the number of points needed to achieve each level of certification. Plan review and inspection of program elements are fully integrated into the standard permitting and inspection process. The program is designed to coordinate with ENERGY STAR, utility incentive programs, and EPAct Home program. A parallel commercial program is under development.

Focus: Residential
Category: Green Building, Incentive
State: Arizona

Ordinance 04411 adds the Green Building Program to county building regulations. It also establishes program goals, outlines rating requirements, and expedites permit processing for GreenPoint Rated or LEED homes.

Focus: Commercial, Multi-Family, Residential
Category: Green Building, Incentive
State: California

The following requirements are effective July 1, 2010: All new or substantially renovated residential structures must comply with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) New York ENERGY STAR-Labeled Home Program. At a minimum, homes less than 3500 ft2 must attain a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) rating of 84; homes with 3501 to 4500 ft2 must attain a HERS rating of 87; homes with 4501 to 6500 ft2 must attain a HERS rating of 90; and homes over 6500 ft2 must attain a HERS rating of 93. All commercial and municipal buildings, regardless of size, must meet the ""designed to ENERGY STAR"" requirements. Owners of residential homes and commercial buildings that meet LEED requirements are eligible for a refund of 0.25% of the costs of construction

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Green Building, Incentive
State: New York

Incentives are provided to utility customers (residential and commercial) in purchasing renewable energy services. Energy audits are required before funding is given.

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Energy Audits, Benchmarking, and Disclosure, Incentive
State: Delaware

Chicago has several green roof incentive programs, including the Green Roof Improvement Fund, a 50% grant match for the cost of placing a green roof on an existing building located in the Central Loop TIF District up to a maximum grant amount of $100,000 per project, and the Green Roof Grant Program, which awards $5,000 grants for green roof projects on residential and small commercial projects. In addition, the city of Chicago currently requires all new, near-flat roofs meet the U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR cool roof standards as part of the Chicago Energy Conservation Code. A cool roof uses special materials to reflect the sun's heat instead of warming the building below. The city's Cool Roofs Grant Program provides up to $6,000 each to help residents and small business owners install roofs that meet or exceed the cool roof standards.

Focus: Commercial, Residential
Category: Incentive
State: Illinois