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Bankrate's 2007 Living Green, Saving Green Guide
Green tomorrows
A penny of prevention is worth a dollar of cure.
Green tomorrows
Building green can save greenbacks
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Step 1   Step 2   Step 3   Step 4
Step 1: 4 ways to get an early start
The best time to get started on an eco-friendly house is before any plans are drawn. That way simple "green" features won't cost you a thing.
Build better, not bigger.
"It may sound boring, but the best way to save money and be green is conservation," says Maureen Ness, a project architect at the Minneapolis-based architecture and interior design firm LHB. "Build smaller." Sarah Susanka, architect and author of "The Not So Big House" has built a career on showing people how well-designed small houses can be just as good as -- if not better -- than the McMansions that pepper the suburban landscape.
Orient yourself.
Almost all homeowners in the northern hemisphere will benefit by having the majority of the windows facing north and south. You minimize heat gain from the morning and afternoon sun," says Tommy Linstroth, head of sustainable initiatives for Savannah, Ga.-based developer Melaver.
Look for financial incentives.
Rebates and credits can help reduce the cost of green building. For example, the U.S. Department of Energy offers up to $2,500 in tax credits for energy efficient products and technologies put into new homes. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 spells out incentives from the Department of Energy. Andy Coccari, vice president of marketing at the Houston-based NewPoint Energy Systems points out that your local government or utility company may also offer incentives as well.
Choose the best location.
Sometimes you don't literally need to break new ground to build a new home, says Ness. "If you're building new, consider building on an infill site to save on new infrastructure," she says.
Steps:  1   2   3   4   
-- Posted: Oct. 4, 2007
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