Thursday, March 6, 2008

Your Guide to New Green Home Labels

Green Certification Helps Homeowners Get the Best Value

By Brian Clark Howard

It's clear that going green is becoming increasingly attractive to home buyers and sellers. But without having degrees in architecture, design and sustainability, how do consumers know the difference between inflated claims, overhyped language and the real deal in terms of energy efficiency, healthy indoor air quality and truly green materials?

For eating greener one can choose USDA certified organic foods. For vehicles there are official EPA fuel economy ratings. For green homes there are now a number of labeling systems that are starting to catch on in the marketplace, and which will hopefully spur acceptance, demand and innovation.

Across the country there are actually some 80 local and regional green-home certification programs, most of which are tied to local climactic conditions. More than 200,000 homes have thus far been certified by various programs -- and that number is expected to swell rapidly over the next year.

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