LOS ANGELES — With 10,000 California homes now bearing the GreenPoint Rated label, Energy Upgrade California in Los Angeles County has announced the availability of rebates to help more local homeowners get a green home label. Through the end of 2012, Los Angeles County homeowners can receive up to $2,000 from the county to cover the cost of getting a GreenPoint Rated label for their home.

GreenPoint Rated is designed to help homeowners ensure their home is built or remodeled to meet high environmental standards. Like a report card for green homes, the rating system assigns points based on five categories: energy efficiency, resource conservation, indoor air quality, water conservation, and community benefits. Point values are determined based on the use of verified green construction practices and sustainable materials that exceed California’s residential building and energy code requirements.

To ensure a home is built or remodeled to maximize efficiency and minimize environmental impact, GreenPoint Rated assesses points based on green building techniques including:

• Increasing energy efficiency by implementing energy saving construction techniques and equipment such as solar power, solar water heating, and Energy Star appliances.

• Creating healthier indoor air quality by using less toxic paint and installing appropriate ventilation systems to reduce levels of chemicals, dust, and mold.

• Conserving water with plumbing and landscaping that require less water.

• Using reclaimed or sustainable building materials to protect forests and reduce landfill waste.

• Creating livable communities and enhancing quality of life through community benefits like proximity to public transportation, stores, and other services.

Homeowners who need to make upgrades in order to qualify for a green label can get additional rebates of up to $8,000 through Energy Upgrade California to defray the costs of energy efficiency improvements — typically the most intensive piece of a green home upgrade. An energy upgrade can increase a home’s efficiency by 10 to 40 percent through fixed improvements like insulation and duct sealing, say program administrators. These energy efficiency improvements can earn a home 20 of the 25 points needed to qualify for the GreenPoint Rated label.

“A green home is good for the planet, healthier for you and your family — and now, with these new rebates, getting the label that proves your home is green is basically free,” said Howard Choy, general manager of the County Office of Sustainability, which administers the Green Label Rebate Program and Energy Upgrade California in Los Angeles County. “We hope these rebates will encourage more Los Angeles homeowners to consider going green.”

For more information, visit www.energyupgradeCA.org/LACounty.

Publication date: 05/21/2012