Going Green – and Keeping the Green in Your Wallet

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Hudson Valley Realty

 Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty, one of the Hudson Valley’s largest real estate brokerages with 22 locations, is “going green” in its offices and has introduced energy-audit discounts and educational programs to help sellers and homeowners reduce their energy consumption and bills.

“It’s more important than ever for businesses and homeowners to do everything they can to reduce their energy consumption to reduce costs and benefit our environment,” said Matt Rand, managing partner with Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty. “We want to establish Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty as a leading resource for information and assistance regarding energy conservation while setting a good example in our own operations. Reflecting this, we’re holding a contest to see which of our offices can reduce its energy consumption the most during the month of August when compared to the same time last year. Our team has responded very favorably to the challenge and we hope to set an example and show other companies here and across the nation how they can implement similar programs.”

A key part of Rand Realty’s green initiative is a partnership with Green Tree Energy (www.greentreeenergy.com), a company based in Mt. Kisco, N.Y., that specializes in energy conservation and the use of environmentally sensitive products and building materials. The two companies have teamed up to offer a $200 discount on a home-energy audit that normally costs $399, reducing the cost to $199 for Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty clients.

During the audits inspectors evaluate a home’s insulation, windows, weatherstripping, appliances, heating system and air conditioning – among other things – to identify ways the owner can improve the building’s energy efficiency. A key part of the audit is a “blower door test,” where special equipment is attached to one of the home’s doors to see how “tight” the home is – in other words, how drafty it is. Inspectors will also utilize thermal imaging using an infrared camera to take pictures around windows and doorways to spot leaks and other potential problems. The camera will take a regular photo of the area, and then an infrared image which will turn up blue spots on problem areas with leaks. This can help identify the need for new windows and better seals around windows, doors and points in the building where wiring and plumbing enter the house.

“The inspectors are able to identify ways for owners to potentially save hundreds of dollars a year in heating, cooling, electricity and water costs, and make the home more comfortable,” said Rand. “The audits have helped people reduce their energy bills by up to 40 percent. Some of the improvements are very inexpensive, so even people with a tight budget are able to benefit from the audits. In addition, federal and state rebates are available that help cover the costs of recommended improvements.”

Other steps Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty is taking in its offices as part of its green initiative include:

• Holding seminars on energy conservation methods for all of its staff members and sales associates, who can share what they learn through client and friend “Home Efficiency Seminars”
• Conducting audits of its offices to identify ways to reduce heating and cooling consumption
• Installing energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs in its offices whenever possible
• Adopting across-the-board recycling in its offices and using recycled materials when possible
• Providing literature and handouts at its offices that the public can use to learn more about energy conservation and “green” household maintenance

Additional information about Green Tree Energy, energy audits for residential and commercial buildings and energy conservation is available at www.GreenTreeEnergy.com. If you have questions or want to schedule an appointment, call Jerry Chiudina of Green Tree Energy at (914) 361-1000 or e-mail JChiudina@GreenTreeEnergy.com.

About Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty: Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate - Rand Realty, founded in 1984, is the No. 1 real estate brokerage in the Greater Hudson Valley with 22 offices serving Rockland, Orange, Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Ulster and Sullivan Counties. Based on market share, Rand is the No. 1 brokerage in Rockland, the No. 1 in Orange and the No. 3 company in Westchester. The company has more than 800 sales associates. For more information, please visit www.RandRealty.com.






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Comments (6)

Melissa Polce
ERA, Wilkinson Real Estate Charlotte - Huntersville, NC
Lake to Land, I've Got It Covered!

This is the hot thing, can't wait until its affordable to everyone wishing to go green!

Aug 31, 2009 11:16 PM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Kevin, that's a very admirable thing for your company to do.  Good luck with it and I hope they realize good savings and start the trend for more green.

Aug 31, 2009 11:30 PM
Richard Iarossi
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Crofton, MD
Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate


Going green isn't completely here yet but it definitely is the coming wave.


Sep 01, 2009 12:33 AM
Ilyce Glink
Think Glink Media - Chicago, IL
Best-selling author, award-winning TV/radio host.

Kevin- This is a great service you're providing. Hopefully, reducing energy consumption will become popular and cost-effective for consumers!

Sep 01, 2009 03:31 AM
Konnie Mac McCarthy
MacNificent Properties, LLC - Cobb Island, MD
Broker/Owner - VA & MD "Time To Get A Move On!"

all of this is such a good idea.. if there was a way to bring down the costs associated with it... they say that it takes such a long time to realize the savings..

Oct 27, 2009 03:04 PM
Clayton Bailey
Green Scene Home Inspections - Dallas, TX

Green is the way of the future. You can criticize it and let the green wave pass you, or you can embrace the coming change and be an emerging leader. It is as simple as that.

Check out the "Bloom Box" in my recent blog. Its going to radically change everything. Hopefully(:

Green is here!

Feb 23, 2010 08:10 AM