Houston property owners could be affected by new city initiative for green tech

Houston launches green initiativeA new program in Houston designed to encourage property owners to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings will offer incentives for some types of renovation, Mayor Annise Parker announced this week.

"The Energy Efficiency Incentive Program is an unprecedented opportunity for commercial building owners and managers to actively engage in the city-wide sustainability strategy – to make Houston a greener, cleaner and healthier place for ourselves and future Houstonians. The energy efficiency projects completed as part of this program will …. help buildings achieve their sustainability goals," she said in a statement.

City government will commit $3 million in seed funding to environmentally motivated improvement projects. If an approved engineering estimate finds that a given renovation will result in at least a 15 percent savings in energy costs, Houston will make anywhere from $20,000 to $200,000 – up to 20 percent of the improvement's total cost – available to the property owner.

In addition to the city incentives, property owners should consider the savings on energy costs by themselves. The difference between unmodified old buildings and new renovations can be startling, experts say.

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