Making Use of the Residential Sustainable Building Tax Credit

Sustainable Building Tax Credit brochure Overview of the Residential Sustainable Building Tax Credit (SBTC)
The SBTC has two primary components. The first is that the home meets a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) index of 60, as documented by a certified HERS energy rater. A home with a HERS rating of 60 is 40% more energy efficient than a home built to the standard building code. The second is that the home is certified as having achieved either the for LEED-Homes (LEED-H) Silver rating or higher, or the Build Green NM Silver rating or higher.

Building Your Home with the SBTC in Mind
Building green is usually a team effort, a collaboration of the owners, designers or architects, and the builder. The SBTC provides you with useful information, a road map, to how to build an energy efficient green home and how to benefit from the New Mexico tax credit that financially helps you do so. Be sure to enjoy the green building process - your journey to owning a comfortable, sustainable home. Here are some of the driving directions to arrive at your destination of a sustainable home at the end of your scenic tour.

  • From your home computer (or one at A BGNM-certified home under construction, used by permission of McGinley Construction, Inc.the local library), visit the U.S. Green Building Council website and download the LEED-H rating system and the Project Checklist. This will explain the features that LEED-H considers in rating your home. The USGBC's new website, Green Home Guide, "details the ways green homes can benefit your health and your pocketbook."
  • Visit the Build Green NM website and download the Build Green NM guidelines. This will explain the approach Build Green NM takes in rating your home.
  • Visit the Residential Energy Services Network website to learn about the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) index. This will describe what a HERS index is, how you get one, and who does HERS ratings in New Mexico.
  • Establish your goals: which features and points match your lifestyle and sustainability objectives and what you want your energy savings to be.
  • Approach your designer or architect, and builder to share with them your hopes, questions, ideas, and goals. Gather a team of professionals to assist in the design and construction process, and work with them to create your dream. The professionals will include a HERS rater and may also include mechanical engineers to be sure your heating and cooling systems are properly sized for maximum efficiency, daylighting and indoor air quality consultants, graywater specialists, and landscape architects to recommend water collection and xeric garden approaches.
  • Determine which rating system best meets your objectives. Be sure you have all the current information and requirements.
  • Monitor and document your progress at every step to be sure you’re on track to achieve your objectives.
  • During the design process, work with your team to evaluate cost trade-offs based on both incremental first cost and long-term cost savings to determine where you should invest your dollars.
  • Document your decisions and compile them for submittal to the certifying organization upon completion of your home’s construction.

Santa Fe SBTC recipient For those who prefer a faster route, some of the miles can be covered by the professionals you choose, letting you make better time on the highway. Even so, you want to be sure you know your destination and you don’t miss the important landmarks along the way. Mostly, enjoy the trip.

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