Holliston LEED House

This is the story of a family who built the first LEED "green" house in Holliston, Massachusetts. We were trying to spend no more than it would take to build an ordinary house,and maybe even succeeded. The dust is still settling.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Green Grouse

Today it’s bothering me that as merely a person building a house I am not eligible for many of the “incentives to green building” currently favored by our national and state governments.
If I put in a geothermal heat pump, I am eligible not to pay 5% state sales tax on it. If I put in a solar array, I can get a $2000 tax credit for spending $45,000. Big whoop. And If I register my house to qualify for Energy Star, I pay $250 and get back around $1500. Awesome. To get my house LEED certified, I pay over $2000 and get back… nothing. It will definitely cost me more to build “green” than if I ignored the whole thing and built whatever I pleased. And that is just wrong.
Why does our country dis-incent people to build better? Heck, I just read that Spain is going to require solar panels on new buildings.
I am going to do as much as I can anyway, simply because I should. But now, I can afford to do less because I have to fly solo on this. Where’s my support?
Maybe I’ll feel better tomorrow, but right now I’m getting quotes for geothermal that are more than twice what I have budgeted for our heating system, and I have to take away the PV system before I can even begin to think about it. And I’m not building with fancy kitchens and marble baths, either.
As an old friend says, “feels like pxssing up a rope.”


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