Sunday, October 19, 2008

Two NJ bills would help green-minded builders

Dozens of bills have been introduced in the New Jersey Legislature this session designed to encourage builders and developers to incorporate environmentally friendly construction standards, materials--and even alternative energy systems--in all new buildings.

On Thursday, Oct 23, the Senate Economic Growth Committee will consider two such bills.

S-1065 Permits electric public utilities to enter into agreements with building owners under which the utility would install or provide for the installation of solar systems to generate some or all of the building's energy needs, including heating and cooling systems.

S-1066 Permits a developer to qualify for low-interest state loans when building a high performance green building. What's a high-performance green building? The legislation defines it as "a building having at least 15,000 square feet in total floor area that is designed and constructed in a manner that achieves at least a silver rating according to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System as adopted by the United States Green Building Council.

[Editor's note: Click here to learn more about LEED rating systems]

The sponsor of both bills is Senator Bob Smith, D-Middlesex County, who is chairman of the Senate Environment Committee.

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