Step Up 2 Green's eco-home certification picks up steam.
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Even if you're a lower-income homeowner, emerald status may be within your grasp. Less than a year after its formal launch, the locally hatched eco-home certification program StepUp2Green is gaining momentum.
SU2G is unique because, unlike LEED and BuildItGreen, it's guided by a one-sided checklist geared to people of modest means who don't plan major renovations. Participating homeowners can earn SU2G's "sage," "jade" or the ultimate "emerald" award by making small changes such as adding motion detectors, planting native landscaping and installing ENERGY STAR ceiling fans.
“Due to increasing energy costs and other societal impacts, homeowners are looking for a way to reduce the environmental footprint of their residential properties,” says SU2G Program Manager Samantha Johnson. “StepUp2Green is specifically designed as a guidance tool."
A program of the Monterey Council Business Council, SU2G is now building its funds and recruiting businesses that offer green home products and services. A planned public ad campaign will help spread the word, and local community housing nonprofit CHISPA may adopt SU2G as a base standard for its projects, according to Carmel Development Company VP Michael Waxer, one of the program's architects.
Another step is recruiting and training inspectors to certify SU2G improvements. On the private side, Carmel design and remodeling firm Renovations is certified to perform SU2G award inspections. It's also offering initial consultations to review modifications needed to achieve SU2G awards. The first 10 homeowners to contact Renovations about the service will receive free assessments, a $300 value. (For info, email email@example.com or call 620-1700.)
A public option is also available, in SU2G certification if not in health care, through municipal planning departments.