Best Incentives for Green Building

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As we head into winter (the first freeze in the Twin Cities expected tomorrow night), we thought it the perfect time to share these excellent green building incentives/tips from our guest blogger David Glenn.

There has been a lot of effort in recent years to become more environmentally friendly. While it's great to keep our planet's well-being in mind to help keep it healthy and safe, going green can mean quite a bit of work and extra expenses when you're trying to construct a building. However, there are several additional incentives for using green building options.

Tax Benefits

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There are several tax benefits for using environmentally friendly methods in building. These taxes can be applied in several areas depending on what you're building, how you're building it and whether you're operating under an official business or on your own. Tax incentives for going green can be offered in the areas of income tax, corporate tax, property tax, sales tax, local tax and more.

One of the best methods of getting tax benefits for green building methods is installing solar panels. Renewable and environmentally friendly energy sources are supported by the government with tax credits and rebates. You can also get up to 30 percent off of the price of the solar panel system.

Energy Efficient Windows and Doors

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Windows are a significant point of concern when it comes to your heating and cooling bills. The glass from the windows absorbs high and low temperatures easily, which make rooms hotter in summer and colder in winter. In addition, they might cause a draft if they have weak or cheap seals. Energy efficient windows help keep cool air inside during summer and warm air inside during winter. The window panes don't absorb high or low temperatures very easily, and some brands can even help to block heat from sunlight to prevent carpets and furniture from heating up (Ed. Note: Find Twin Cities window companies here).

Properly sealed sliding glass doors will also help make any building more energy efficient (Ed. Note: in the Twin Cities search for local door companies here). Energy Star sliding door hardware is available to get the same benefits of temperature resistance in the glass both in terms of absorption and refraction, and they allow much more air flow in a room to make it cooler in the summer. This can save you hundreds of dollars on your heating and cooling bills while also making the building much more comfortable. Sliding doors can also help you save on your electric bills as they allow even more natural light into the building, reducing the need for lamps.

Water Pump Systems

Electrical water pumps can eat up quite a bit of energy, but there is a way to get proper water flow in a building without an electric water pump system. Using the power of gravity and water flow, a water pump system can work just as well as any electric water system while using absolutely no energy. You not only save money on energy, but you can also save hundreds or thousands of dollars on maintenance and repairs as water pump systems are usually smaller and more resilient than electrical water pump systems.

Protect the Health of Inhabitants

Environmentally friendly materials have a lower chance of causing harmful health effects to inhabitants of the building. Green building options have lower amounts of toxins and help keep the air flow within the building cleaner. This helps prevent occupants from developing harmful medical conditions or irritating existing medical problems such as allergies, respiratory problems and infections.


Depending on the area, you may be eligible to get a grant from the city to assist in the financing of your building project. Grants can be given to individual homeowners looking to build or contracted developers to help pay for certifications, materials and other aspects of green building.

Less Construction Waste

Construction supplies create a lot of waste that only ends up taking up space at the landfill. Many building materials are not biodegradable, and you may actually end up having to pay to have the waste taken away or put in a local dump. Green building supplies are either biodegradable or recyclable, and you may be eligible for monetary compensation for recycling certain materials.

Think MN Green Path when you Build or Remodel

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One final note, MN Green Path is ready to help you. Ask your builder or remodeler about our energy tested and green certification program in Minnesota. And look for the Green Path Home Performance Report when you shop new homes.


Great ideas! Esp. the one where using energy-efficient windows and doors cut electricity bills. Tax benefits will definitely motivate a lot of us. Loved the pic at the top, btw!

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