The news paper called me on Monday...in preparing an article about our Multi Listing Service adding 3 green certifications to our listing paper work. True story! A serious and eventful mile stone in our communities' history of going green. The certifications will be Energy Star, Earth Advantage and LEED-H and for commercial. It is a beginning and adds credibility to the effort to get the information out about the incentives for building green and sustainable homes.
During the interview the writer asked about the certification programs and as I explained them he suggested they were to confusing and there were to many for a builder to choose from. He wouldn't know what to do!
That is when it all came together for me.
My adrenaline perked up a bit and I fired back, "what does a contractor do when they choose a truck? When we wade into the arena of the innumerable, countless numbers of vehicles to choose from it can be overwhelming. If one is analytical the least bit there is more frustration ahead as the choices are mulled over. What kind of gas mileage does it get? Is it safe? Will it handle a load? Does it corner well? What does Consumer Reports have to say about this model over that model? There are cars and trucks for nearly every personality it seems. Do we all get confused? Some folks do their due diligence when buying a vehicle others might only go on referral. I like Chevy Trucks because my Grandpa and Dad drove Chevy's and I believe they are a better choice. Now choices are mounting for alternative fuel vehicles."
So, to drive the point home (a pun)When a Builder comes into the good fortune of building a green, high performance home for a client he had better do his due diligence and become an expert in the various choices of the certification programs. He should be well versed in the options from Energy Star, Earth Advantage, LEED-H or our State of Oregons' new High Performance Home program and the NAHB's new program as well. How else to serve his customer?
There are various certification programs across the country and more coming I am sure. Well over 80 the last I read up on them. But they are some what regional. One certification is "Build Green Colorado" for example.
Over time some will emerge as the leaders with credibility due to their incentives and features. It will all work out and prove to be less confusing then choosing a car to drive.