We will definitely participate in the Energy Star program, but participation in the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for Homes program was a more complicated decision. The Energy Star program provides cash rebates for building efficiently. I am willing to spend a little more now to save money down the road even without rebates, and when the government is willing to give me money for doing so, all the better.
LEED for Homes, though, is a much more complex and rigorous process, some of which is similar to the Energy Star program but the LEED program addresses many more issues. Administered by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED for Homes goes far beyond just energy efficiency. It encourages the smarter use of resources and the construction of a more durable and healthier home. There are fees to be paid and consultants to be hired, and the process will take a fair amount of time for research and documentation. The program will coerce us into considering many factors that we may have otherwise overlooked and, in the end, a third-party will certify that we have met their Green Building Rating System.
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