energy star: 2009 Tallahassee Parade of Homes - 05/09/09 03:03 AM

It is that time again!
It seems like only a few weeks ago since the 2008 Parade of Homes. This year promises to be even more exciting. With gorgeous weather upon us, and two full weekends of open houses, what are you waiting for. Come Check out the 2009 Tallahassee Parade of Homes!
This year's Parade of Homes has some spectacular entries. Many of this year's entries have gone green and received certifications for their energy-efficiency or sustainable building practices. Great examples exist of both affordable (BrackenChase) and high-end (GBGH Construction) examples of energy efficient ENERGY STAR buildings.

energy star: Federal Tax Credits - ENERGY STAR Windows - 03/01/09 01:27 PM
President Obama recently signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009. One of the many changes of this bill is to extend and modify available tax credits for windows, doors and skylights.The modifications effectively:
extend the length of availability of the tax credits                  - through 2010 triple the available limits                                                     - from $500.00 through $1500.00 increase the available credit                                                - to 30% of the total cost of the windows  
As of February 17, 2009 tax credits are now eligible for new windows with a U-factor and solar heat … (3 comments)

energy star: Green Builder Spotlight - 02/16/09 05:53 AM
I recently started a newsletter for the EarthSTEPS Green Building Division. As part of that newsletter, I am going to be highlighting a green builder in every issue. Here's a copy of the first Green Builder Spotlight. A copy of the entire newsletter can be found here.
I would love to get feedback on the newsletter... what kind of information do you want to hear about green building in Florida!?
If you would like to sign up to receive news on green building in Florida, please register here.
LD Callaghan, Inc. of Crawfordville, FL, build their homes to FGBC … (4 comments)

energy star: Earth Cents - 02/12/09 12:29 AM
Earth Cents Gulf Power has recently created the new Earth Cents program to help their customers lower their utility bills and increase comfort and value of the home.This new program encompasses many different energy saving practices compiled into one set of guidelines for building or remodeling an energy-efficient home. According to Gulf Power "Earth Cents Homes offer superior quality and performance while addressing the need to preserve our natural resources."To see the detailed requirements for the program, please follow this linkFor more information on the program, or to get started contact a HERS rater and green building consultant.
Alex Mordas, LEED … (2 comments)

energy star: Florida HOP Part 5. Homebuyer Loan Process - 01/26/09 02:38 PM
Florida’s  HOP program
For a brief overview of the program, please see my first posting
Homebuyer Loan Process:  
Keeping it simple, keeps you happy!
1.    Contact a HOP educated REALTOR and Lender to assist you with your homebuying process
2.    Once construction on the Unit has begun, Members (HOP builders) will reserve your homebuyer financing (provided on a loan-by-loan basis) by providing the required date of foundation inspection on the HOP Homebuyer Reservation (“HOPRES201 (5/01/08”) - for more information, please see
3.    Within fourteen (14) Calendar Days of making the reservation, Members … (0 comments)

energy star: Florida HOP Part 4. Eligible Homebuyer Requirements - 01/26/09 02:10 PM
Florida’s  HOP program
For a brief overview of the program, please see my first posting
Eligible Homebuyer Requirements:
1. In order to receive a HOP Loan under the HOP program, the Eligible Homebuyer must:
     (1)     Have an Adjusted Income that does not exceed eighty
     percent (80%) AMI
     (2)     Qualify as an Eligible Homebuyer at the time of the
     execution of the purchase contract
     (3)     Occupy the Unit as their principal residence
     (4)     Provide a minimum down payment of $500, except when participating in a Self-Help program

energy star: Florida HOP Part 3. Additional Builder Requirements - 01/26/09 01:36 PM
Florida’s  HOP program

For a brief overview of the program, please see my first posting
Additional Building Requirements:
All Units must be new construction which have not been previously occupied except that Members that are counties and eligible municipalities that are administrators of SHIP funding may make reservations for Eligible Homebuyers for HOP funds on Units that are currently in the process of Substantial Rehabilitation.
At no time shall the HOME financing exceed the Maximum Per Unit Subsidy Limits pursuant to 24 CFR § 92.250. The maximum per-unit subsidy of HOP funding is limited to the … (0 comments)

energy star: Florida HOP Part 2. Builder Requirements - 01/26/09 12:48 PM

Florida’s  HOP program
For a brief overview of the program, please see my first posting

Requirements for Building Eligibility:
1.      All New Construction Units are required to meet the more stringent of the State or Local Building Code, as well as accomplish/include the following:
    a.     Range and oven
    b.     ENERGY STAR rated refrigerator
    c.     ENERGY STAR rated dishwasher (which may be waived for self help units)
    d.     Lever-handled faucet with removable spout or lever-handled faucet with separate sprayer (spout or sprayer must have at least a 9-inch hose)
    e.     … (0 comments)

energy star: Florida HOP Part 1. Homeownership Pool Program clarified - 01/26/09 08:58 AM

Thinking outside the box when it comes to buying homes in Florida!!!
Florida’s  HOP program

What is it?
The Florida Home Ownership Pool Program, a program of the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, provides matching funds and down payment assistance to Eligible Homebuyers for the purchase of new construction or substantially rehabilitated units.
Are you eligible as a homebuyer?
If your income does not exceed 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI), then, yes, you are potentially eligible for this program (contact the Florida Housing Finance Corporation for more information on eligibility).  
What … (4 comments)

energy star: Florida Mortgage Bankers that Stand Out!!! Green Financing in your Area - 01/22/09 05:26 AM
Attention Mortgage Brokers!!!
I just went online to use the Florida Solar Energy Center's database that lists Mortgage Bankers who do green financing in Florida. I wanted to see who can provide this financing option in Leon County. Only one broker was listed!!!
Energy Efficient Mortgage Banker Search Results The following mortgage lenders offer Energy Efficiency Mortgages
Is there really no more than one broker in the area who can provide Energy Efficient Financing?

So what's wrong? Why did only one broker come up in the database? This database is accessible and used regularly by … (5 comments)

energy star: ENERGY STAR water heaters - 01/20/09 11:28 AM
The DOE recently announced that residential water heaters are now available as ENERGY STAR certified products for the following 5 types of water heater:
1) high-efficiency gas storage water heaters
2) gas condensing water heaters
3) whole-home gas tankless water heaters
4) heat pump water heaters
5) solar water heaters.
With water heating contributing around 15% of the nations residential energy consumption, the cost savings and environmental benefits of this could be enormous!!!
If you are buying a new hot water system for your home, looking for the ENERGY STAR label will help you to achieve water heating savings from between … (1 comments)

energy star: Financial Incentives for Going Green - 01/19/09 02:05 PM
Wondering what rebates and incentives are available to you or your clients on a green building project or an installation of solar?
Look no further!
DSIRE claims to be a "comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency."
Click on the link above to find out what rebates and incentives are available in your area.
While it is not quite as comprehensive as it claims to be, this site does provide a fantastic resource and a great starting point to finding out what is available … (1 comments)

energy star: Green Design Charrettes - 01/18/09 08:05 AM

An important and often-overlooked component of green design is the design charrette.
While not a mandatory requirement for most residential green certifications (e.g. LEED-H), it is a valuable practice that can help to save money and time down the road.
The design charrette enables members of the design/construction team and other stakeholders to come together at an early stage and develop an integrated design goal and schedule.

The charrette is typically an intensive single to multi-day effort, involving all interested parties in a comprehensive overview of the project. This process enables all parties to … (3 comments)

energy star: Green MLS: ENERGY STAR and Green Homes in Tallahassee - 01/14/09 04:09 AM

The Tallahassee MLS is GREEN!!!!
As of this last November, the Tallahassee Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service (MLS) has included new searchable fields for ENERGY STAR and third-party verified Green Certified homes.
The current options available are:
LEED for homes ENERGY STAR Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) green home NAHB HERS rated Green Candidate (for homes that are in the process of obtaining a certification/rating). As part of the quality control process, Realtors submitting homes to the MLS as a green home will be required to attach an associated document that confirms the certification for the listed property.

energy star: Green Trends 2008 - 07/06/08 01:48 PM
Coming up in less than a month is the 2008 Green Trends Conference and Trade Show!
July 30th - August 2nd at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando Florida
This year promises to be really exciting as we face the reality that green building may soon be the only building that gets done.
In addition to exciting building news, seminars, products and events, there will be a live music performance by the Charlie Daniels Band!
For more information, check out the Southeast Building Conference website.
Alex Mordas, M.Sc. EcoBroker® & REALTOR® LEED for homes, Field Agent … (13 comments)

energy star: City of Tallahassee Green Initiatives, Rebates and Incentive Programs - 06/29/08 01:41 PM

Here in Tallahassee we are lucky to have one the most generous city rebate & incentive programs for building or remodeling green. e.g. if you are building an energy-efficient home and you are interested in getting it ENERGY STAR certified, the city of Tallahassee will pay you up to $1/square foot of conditioned space, up to $2,000 dollars!
This not only covers the cost of the certification, but will put money in your pocket!
For more information on these and other rebates & home-improvement grants in Tallahassee, go here, or check out the website for Tallahassee's "Go Green" Program. Included … (0 comments)

energy star: The logic behind energy-efficient improvements... - 06/16/08 07:22 AM
Thinking about upgrading your old (or new) home..?
Wondering what the difference is in cost between your current home payments and your future costs if you invest in Energy-Star appliances, upgraded insulation, windows, etc..?

Here's the plain and simple logic:
Home costs = mortgage + utilities
(sure there are other payments in there, but let's keep this simple)
If your utility bills are high, but you bought a cheap house, you might be paying close to the cost of owning an expensive home with low-to-no utility costs!
Let's look at the chart:
On the X-axis … (2 comments)

energy star: Tallahassee Green Building Council event - 06/09/08 10:56 AM

The latest Green Building Council event is going to be held out at Mike Rogers' Southern Oaks development. This is the location of Tallahassee's first certified green development. If you are in the market to build a new home and are interested in building green this would be a great location to settle down with like-minded folks.
If you would like to know more about this development of others like it, please contact me at: (850) 559-4976, or

Directions: Take Mahan Dr. east past Cap. Cr., Left on Edenfield, left on Barfield to Southern Oaks.
Alex … (0 comments)

energy star: Green Products Fair & Trade Show - Reminder - 04/15/08 07:43 PM
I wanted to remind all of you Tallahasseans (and wish you were living in Tallahasseeans) that our local chapter of the US Green Building Council will be hosting the Capital Region Green Products  Fair & Trade  Show this Tuesday, April 22, 2008. 
Expect a fun-filled and highly informative evening with professionals from all aspects of the green building community -  Please come on down and get informed. Folks living here in Tallahassee are lucky in that we are really pushing forwards to lead the nation in the green building front. If you are just in town for a few days, please … (3 comments)

energy star: Green Home Certification Tallahassee - 04/14/08 09:17 AM
Looking to get a home certified in the Tallahassee area...

 For about 4 months  now, I have been actively working as a Green Home Certifying Agent with the Florida Green Building Coalition, and have worked on over 100,000 sq. ft. of green buildings in the Tallahassee area. Now, I am really excited to say, if you want to build a LEED for homes green home in the Tallahassee area, myself and one other field agent are now able to provide the field checking, consulting, and assistance with the LEED for homes standards.
This last week we participated in a class at … (2 comments)


Alex Mordas

Green Building Consultant

Tallahassee, FL

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