Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cool Green News

This is exactly what we need happening across the whole economy.

The city's largest property owner - spurred by high energy prices and rising demand from tenants - is seeking "green" certification for all of its office buildings, marking a major milestone in Mayor Thomas M. Menino's push to make Boston the nation's most environmentally friendly city.

Equity Office Properties Trust, which owns 20 structures in and around Boston, is outfitting its buildings with features ranging from energy-saving heating and cooling units to new bike racks as part of a multimillion-dollar effort to stamp its buildings with the green label.

"We're doing this from a social responsibility perspective, but it's also become necessary to maintain tenants," said Greg Shay, president of Boston operations for Equity Office. "It's gotten to the point where not taking action is somewhat foolish."

The important thing here is the fact that going green saves money in the medium-to-long run.

The company is still tallying total savings, but executives estimate they will save $1.5 million in electricity costs by 2012 on six buildings where upgrades are underway.

Massachusetts should begin to require everyone to go green, perhaps with a ten year phase in, getting energy-star furnaces and other things that will save money and energy very quickly. The carrot stick's already on the table - 0% loans to switch to energy star gas furnaces, replace old windows and add insulation, etc. up to $10k over 7 years, along with numerous rebates on all those products - now we need the sticks. Switching to that type of furnace from an oil furnace, over just a few years, will actually save a family money - especially with the 0% loan. So there's no excuses! It's time for the stick approach - the environment can't wait because we're too lazy to make the switch or just don't have the facts.

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