There are some excellent organizations that promote energy and environment conservation. These green organizations are either government or nonprofit to highlight products on the market that are energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Nonprofit organizations such as the Forest Stewardship Council encourages responsible forest management in the timber industry. The Carpet and Rug Industry has its Green Label Plus program to identify carpets that pass a tough low chemical emission standard. These are important organizations when thinking green, and in ways saving with green.
As a homeowner, you may recognize the following organizations. It is important to also recognize their significance in savings.
PROGRAM REDUCES ENERGY COSTS AND STIMULATES TAX CREDITS
Many electronics, appliances, lighting, and insulation products carry the ENERGY STAR label when they have been proven to reduce energy costs by an average of 20-30 percent over comparable products. Certification is from a joint program of the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
It is important to note that these products save energy and may also qualify for tax credits up to $1,500 under the Energy Policy Act of 2009. Here is a partial list of qualifying windows, doors and insulation and their qualifying characteristics. These home improvements sold by Improveit! Home Remodeling will pay for themselves in energy savings and tax credits. An accountant can help file for the credits if you feel uncomfortable filling out IRS Tax Form 5695 (2009 version). You will also need a statement of certification from the manufacturer. You can download one in PDF format for Improveit! installed windows and attic insulation from the home page of improveit2green.com.
TWO YEAR COVERAGE WITH GREEN GOOD HOUSEKEEPING SEALThe Good Housekeeping Seal has been around for decades, known to educate consumers on the effectiveness of products. The products that carry the Good Housekeeping Research Institute has now gone further with its green seal to qualify those products with the following standards:
- Products that live up to marketing claims for efficacy,
- Products that provide sustainability,
- Manufacturing processes including reduction of water,
- Energy efficiency in manufacturing and product use,
- Ingredient and product safety,
- Packaging reduction,
- Brand corporate social responsibility.
Good Housekeeping stands behind their evaluations and offers a refund if the Green Seal product fails to live up to its claims in the first two years of use. Read more from the Good Housekeeping Research Institute about the Green Good Housekeeping Seal.
GEI PROMOTES A HEALTHY HOME WITH AIR QUALITY STANDARDS
The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) establishes indoor air quality standards through a certification process for such home products as bedding, furniture and paints. GEI is an nonprofit organization with its mission to improve public health and quality of life through programs that improve indoor air.
They certify GREENGUARD labeled products for acceptable low emission of harmful chemicals. Products are tested by an independent third party. Certification is a voluntary program available to all manufacturers and their suppliers. The GREENGUARD Building Construction Program started in 2006 certifies multifamily and commercial properties for mold reduction. Read more about the GREENGUARD certification program.
WATERSENSE MAKES IT EASY FOR AMERICANS TO SAVE WATER
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sponsored this partnership program in 2006 to help consumers conserve water up to 20% in the household. Plumbing fixtures, toilets and new homes that carry this label have been evaluated for their lower water consumption. Look for the WaterSense label on showerheads, faucets, irrigation devices, toilets and other home water consumption fixtures. Read more on the WaterSense program from the EPA site.
This article is part of a Residential Contractor Series offered by improveit2green.com and Improveit! Home Remodeling of Columbus and Dayton, Ohio.