AB 811 energy project loans to property owners

AB 811 provides all California cities and counties with the ability to offer low-cost loans to property owners for Energy Efficiency (EE) projects and solar panels, similar to loans from commercial banks. The intent of the legislation is to not only reduce the cost of energy to the individual consumer, but also reduce the overall consumption of electricity, to reduce the amount of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, as mandated by AB 32 and SB 375.

Basically, if adopted by a city, AB 811:

  1. provides low interest rate loan (so far at 7% amortized over 20 years) from the City attached to your property that resides within that city’s limits and to be paid every six months through / along with your County property tax payment;
  2. is earmarked ONLY for and covers MOST energy efficiencies and renewable energies available to the public;
  3. Requires NO credit check and can pass to new owners of property without future credit checks through title transfer at escrow.

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Energy Rebates and Tax Incentives

This year Congress passed an economic stimulus package to promote energy efficiency. The American Recover and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 includes several provisions modifying and expanding the scope of the energy efficiency and renewable energy incentives for homeowners.  Check out this website, managed by the Tax Incentives Assistance Project, www.energytaxincentives.org for details.

Credits are available for:
* energy improvements to homes, such as windows, insulation, and envelope and duct sealing.
* installing efficient air conditioners and heat pumps; gas or oil furnaces and furnace fans; and gas, oil, or electric heat pump water heaters in new or existing homes.
* qualified solar water heating and photovoltaic systems, small wind and geothermal heat pump systems.

For example, you could receive an incentive of 30% of the cost of eligible measures, with a $1,500 cap on the credit per home.

On-site renewables (solar photovoltaic and hot water systems, small wind systems, and geothermal heat pumps) are now eligible for a tax incentive worth 30% of the total cost, without a cap. (time to go solar!)

Bees & the Garden

My buddy, AL, who is an Apiarist (Beekeeper), is in town and checking on our garden beehive. We have about 80,000 bees in a double box w/ a “Honey Super” on the top for collecting honey. We expect to collect 18-25 lbs of natural home-grown nectar! These bees are helping our “slow” garden become more bountiful in these days of growing fear of losing our bees globally; anyway, we just wanted to help our garden grow and also pollinate the local community trees/plants/ET all. If you want more info on Al’s Beekeeping Service, go to GetBees.net

How Green can you go? An SF couple finds out.

Paul Kilduf, Special to the Chronicle

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Remodeling a house with the latest green technology and decorating touches is not for people who want things quick, cheap and easy. Not only are these products – from blue jean insulation to recycled glass tiles – hard to find, they’re far more expensive than the conventional options.

Still, husband-and-wife team Kate Stoia and Rony Maoz were committed to going as green as possible in their third and most ambitious remodeling project.

Their house, dug into a hillside in San Francisco’s Corona Heights neighborhood, which overlooks the Castro, wasn’t much to look at when they bought it in December 2006.

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Building Green on a Budget

Building Green on a Budget
By FrontDoor.com | Published: 3/27/2008

Work with your builder to build green without breaking the budget.

Going green doesn’t have to use every last one of your greenbacks. While building a fully green home typically costs 20 to 30 percent more than a traditional build, you can still get results by spending less, often as little as 2 to 4 percent over standard construction. Here are some tips to make your new or existing home more eco-friendly without breaking the bank.

The Green Housing Boom

from Fast Company, September 11, 2008

“The construction and operation of buildings generate half of all greenhouse-gas emissions in the country, according to estimates based on data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Residential buildings alone account for 21% of national energy consumption — nearly as much as transportation (27%).

Read the morning papers, and it’s hard not to feel that the American housing industry is on the brink of the apocalypse. Home prices are plummeting, in some areas as much as 40%. However, it’s exactly the gravity of the situation that some housing analysts see as the opportunity of a lifetime — the chance to jolt us into embracing green housing.” read more…..

Green Building Sets the Code

from Sustainable Industries, 12.29.08

San Francisco’s new codes are thought to be the strictest green building requirements in the nation. They are expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 60,000 tons annually, and save 220,000 megawatt-hours of electricity and 100 million gallons of drinking water each year. The state of California’s Building Standards Commission became the first jurisdiction to approve market-wide green building codes when adopted by the California Green Building Standards Code in July.

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