San Francisco unveils program to promote green construction

The city of San Francisco recently unveiled GreenFinanceSF, part of the larger Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program to promote clean energy and general greening of homes and buildings in the city, according to Just Means. The municipal initiative offers state and federal funding to investors who provide loans to residential and business construction companies for energy retrofits and clean energy upgrades. These loans are attached to properties instead of individuals and can be repaid over a period of 15 or 20 years through an annual property tax assessment. Such environmentally friendly mindsets extend to the homes for sale in San Francisco as well, which makes this the ideal city for environmentally conscientious homeowners.

Energy efficiency has been a hot topic in California for several years now, and numerous initiatives and efforts have been directed toward improving this sector. According to the news source, the city saved approximately 15,000 gigawatt hours (GWh) of energy through various programs in 2006, up a significant amount from the 5,000 GWh saved in 1990. More stringent regulations in the years since have only seen that number continue to increase.

Along with GreenFinanceSF, the city is also home to a program of ecologically-sustainable building practices known as "green labels." According to the San Francisco Business Journal, these labels will now be included on official land records in the city. This means that along with looking at typical housing information such as square footage and past complaints, potential homeowners will also be able to look at the environmental friendliness of each house. These factors include LEED or Energystar certifications.

"We are making San Francisco history by including Green Labels in our official property records," Phil Ting, Assessor-Recorder with the city, told the news source. "The Green Label information now maintained in our files is an important first step in the universal adoption of ecologically-sustainable building practices. Reducing the ecological impact of our built environment is a top priority for so many of us in San Francisco."

Along with the aforementioned two factors, Green Labels will also be keeping track of Build it Green's Green Point rating system, Home Energy Rating System II, and Home Energy Score, the news source reported. High scores on each of these factors will determine if the house for sale is environmentally friendly.