Model Policies

Buildings owned by the state or occupied by a state agency must record utility bills in an effort to track the amount of energy used in each building and buildings of like construction. Incentives for reducing energy consumption are required.

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

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

This program focuses on whole community, including modification of building and zoning codes, creation of green building standards, incentives for green building certification, and city commitments. Changes to the general plan and zoning, requirements for LEED municipal buildings, and adoption of the 2006 IECC will result in mandatory changes, while incentives to promote LEED in private commercial developments encourage voluntary changes.

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

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

The Green Building Tax Credit provides a 25% tax credit for new buildings that achieve LEED Silver certification or equivalent, a 50% tax credit for new buildings that achieve LEED Gold certification or equivalent, and a 75% tax credit for new buildings that achieve LEED Platinum certification or equivalent, for a period of 5 consecutive years. This tax credit only applies to property that is principally used for business, commercial, or industrial purposes.

Focus: Commercial
Category: Green Building, Incentive
State: Maryland

Green buildings achieving LEED-NC certification in the city of Columbus, Ohio are eligible for LEED reimbursement ranging from a minimum of the certification fee to a maximum of three times the certification fee. All eligible projects must receive certification from the USGBC and credit for at least 8 of 12 essential LEED-NC credits designated by the city. The funds for certification reimbursement are available through the Green Columbus Fund, a $1 million grant program to encourage green building and brownfield redevelopment.

Focus: Commercial
Category: Green Building, Incentive
State: Ohio

"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

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

Any county, city, or town in Montana that has enacted an energy efficiency program may include voluntary standards for new commercial construction that promote energy conservation and provide incentives for following the standards. Incentives can be greater than those offered by the state building code.

Focus: Commercial
Category: Incentive
State: Montana

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