LEED Incentives

National Incentives for LEED for Homes

  • Energy efficient home tax credit (for builders) – $2000
  • Various Utility Incentives depending on area / utility provider.  DSIRE has some information, but check with your local utility company for more details.
  • Lower insurance premiums by 5%
  • Preferred financing
    • Loans on green homes have lower risk profiles than standard loans, and some lenders will recognize this value and offer preffered options. Local lenders are more likely to do this, such as Green Choice Bank in Illinois
    • Bank of America – $1000 credit at closing for an energy efficient home.
  • Knowledgeable appraisers will appraise at higher rates; you may need to pay more for a competent second opinion of value, but receiving several thousand dollars extra in value is usually worth the extra appraisal fee.
  • Higher property value now and in the future as more real estate MLS systems are going green.

Local Policies for Renewables & Efficiency that coincide with LEED for Homes Credits

Several local incentives are available for various energy efficiency measures, many of which are often included in a LEED home:


DSIRE is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Established in 1995 and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, DSIRE is an ongoing project of the N.C. Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council.


MSHDA Qualified Allocation Plan for the Affordable Green Standard worth credits when achieving LEED for Homes certification

More details here http://www.alliancees.org/2011/12/13/qualified-allocation-plan-qap-mshda-leed-green-verification/

     The City of East Lansing recently adopted an innovative Green Building Policy which requires new municipal construction to attain the U.S Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification. The policy also requires new private development receiving municipal incentives to achieve certain levels of LEED certification. This policy’s goal is to incorporate green building principles into the design, construction and operation of new buildings within the City.

In order to further this mission, the City recognizes the need to provide incentives for projects which do not receive municipal incentives through the existing Green Building Policy. This Green Building

Incentive Policy shall:

1) Apply to new single family and commercial construction projects which do not receive financing incentives through the existing Green Building Policy.

2) Create an annual incentive fund not to exceed $10,000 whose monies will be derived from  a combination of water, sewer and general funds.

3) Ends on December 31, 2012, at which time it will be reviewed to determine the ability to further fund the program and to analyze its effectiveness.

New construction projects which are eligible under this program may apply for a incentive funds which will be awarded after the successful completion of the project and certification of LEED status by the US Green Building Council. The amount of funds provided will be awarded as follows:

• Projects receiving LEED “Certified” or “Silver” status: $1,300

• Projects receiving LEED “Gold” or “Platinum” status: $2,600

A maximum of $10,000 per year shall be available and reimbursement is subject to availability of funds.

This policy shall be administered by the Department of Public Works who shall be responsible for marketing the program, developing application procedures, and providing an incentive award to participants who have satisfied the requirements of the program when funding is available.

East Lansing also provides incentives for tax increment financing funds, Brownfield redevelopment funds (Worth LEED points), community development (Worth LEED points)block grant funds.

For more information Contact:

Dave Smith

Environmental Specialist

City of East Lansing

517 337-9459




Building construction projects located in Indianapolis/ Marion County that use LEED Certification are eligible to apply for an up to 50% rebate on all permit fees associated with the building project. In order to qualify for the rebate incentive, the project owner must submit all required documentation to the City of Indianapolis’ Department of Code Enforcement. More information here.


City of Cincinnati.

Incentives for 1-3 unit residential

New LEED construction of one, two, and three unit residential structures, including condominiums, are eligible for a 15-year, 100% tax abatement valued up to $530,450.

For renovated LEED residential dwellings (condominiums, one, two, and three unit structures), there is a 10-year tax abatement on improvements up to a maximum $530,450 market value.  Owners will pay tax on the land.  The market value limit will increase by 3% compounded each year.

There is no maximum value limit for new and rehabilitated residential structures certified with the LEED Platinum.

Incentives for multi unit residential (4+ units)

Multi-unit residential abatement is up to 15 years for new construction and 12 years for renovation.  It is a net 75% abatement after execution of the school board agreement.  A minimum of $40,000 in costs is required.  For LEED projects, there is no cap on the maximum market value eligible for abatement.


* Within the city

* A $750 application fee is required

* Any certification level (Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum)

* Do not have to demonstrate financial need to be approved for the tax abatement.

* An agreement must be executed with DCD before construction begins.

For more information see

Residential: http://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/cdap/pages/-3521-/

Multi-Unit: http://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/cdap/pages/-3481-/

Other LEED incentives

Wilmington, OH:

On July 16, 2009, the Wilmington City Council adopted an ordinance establishing a Green Enterprise Zone comprising all the land within the municipal boundaries of the City of Wilmington. Residential and commercial projects within in the Zone seeking LEED Certification are eligible for a 75% reduction in building and permitting fees and existing residential and commercial properties undertaking other green retrofits may be eligible for a 50% reduction in building and permitting fees.

Lakewood, OH:

On April 7, 2003, Lakewood City Council adopted Resolution #7746-03, requiring the construction and operation of city facilities and city-funded projects to incorporate LEED to the greatest extent practicable. The resolution also encourages the use of LEED in private sector development.

Shaker Heights, OH:

On May 27, 2003, the Shaker Heights City Council adopted Resolution 03-70, encouraging both municipal and private construction projects to following LEED for New Construction guidelines.


Kamla Lewis, Director, Neighborhood Revitalization Department; (216) 491-1374; kamla.lewis@shakeronline.com


The Village of Northbrook has a great incentive program for green building. to promote Green building techniques in public and private sector construction projects, they are giving rebates for LEED-certified buildings.

Northbrook uses the LEED rating system to distinguish different levels of sustainability in construction projects. In turn, for building green, there is a rebate for Covered Permit Fees (permits issued by Northbrook’s Building & Development Department for new buildings, additions, demolitions, alterations and site work) based on the LEED rating of the project.

LEED Certification

Rating Permit Fee Rebate
Certified 10%
Silver 20%
Gold 30%
Platinum 40%

Bonus: if you’re one of the first LEED-certified buildings in a property class, the permit fee is completely waived!

So builders, what are you waiting for? Here is a link to Northbrook’s Green page, where Green Building Incentives are covered. Or click here to view the full green building incentive policy.

6 Comments on "LEED Incentives"

  1. Janice Romanosky May 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm ·

    Earning Energy Star is not an automatic qualifier for the Builders Tax Credit. I’ve modeled homes with HERS in the 60s that did not meet the tax credit requirements. This is because whereas the HERS index will take into account features such as water heating, lights and appliances, the tax credit evaluates only how the HVAC and envelope directly impact energy reduction. The IRS documentation is uncharacteristically clear in defining what features a home must have in order to qualify, and how compliance is to be verified.

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