Finding information about home energy tax credits and related incentives that are scattered across several agencies can be daunting, according to representatives from Built Green®, the green home certification program of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties (MBAKS).
To help homeowners and builders become more aware of the financial incentives for “going green,” MBAKS has compiled various lists of the most relevant resources to assist with the creation of “high performing, energy efficient, and responsibly built homes.”
In its “Going Green for Less” blog, the author says upfront cost tends to be one of the main barriers that prevent homeowners and builders from pursuing Built Green certification.
Energy and water efficiency improvements have a positive return and relatively short payback period, but because they may not be seen or admired, they are not as alluring as a new kitchen or room addition. “Combine that with tight remodeling or construction budgets and any additional costs for energy improvements or third-party verification are quickly cut from the budget,” the article states.
The lists of incentives cover new construction of single-family homes and multifamily projects and remodels, along with local discount and rebate programs. The resulting tables cover energy and water efficiency improvements that are potentially necessary to achieve Built Green certification, Net Zero Energy certification, a Built Green Remodel or Retrofit certification and additional Energy labels. Also included are incentive amounts, timelines and breakdowns by household income AMI (Area Median Income).
With regard to new construction, MBAKS states “The 2021 Washington state energy code is so advanced that with some additional research in the latest building science, achieving these certifications [and 45L tax credit] would not represent a significant liability.”
Another section of the blog covers supplemental financial resources that help close the gap on the costs of home and energy efficiency improvements, such as the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, the City of Seattle’s HomeWise Weatherization Program, and Energy Smart Eastside.
Additionally, there are links to private green financing programs, including mortgage-based and construction loan-based options.
MBAKS suggests consulting with a Built Green Verifier to discuss options for investing time and resources in choosing improvements. Another link is to the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE), which can by filtered by zip code, project type, and program type. The final section has links to additional resources. BuiltGreen notes the lists are not all-encompassing of available resources and the particulars of an incentive are subject to change.