Jun 5, 2014 1:00 PM  PST

BIG Pioneers Green Real Estate Initiative in Southern California

Build It Green (BIG) is proud to launch a new initiative to connect homebuyers across Southern California with green-certified real estate agents. These “Green Home Agents” are trained to help homebuyers understand green home features and take advantage of energy rebates and renovation financing when they purchase a home.

A Groundbreaking New Effort 

BIG developed the initiative on behalf of The Energy Network, a local government organization administered by the County of Los Angeles. This groundbreaking effort emerges as one of the most innovative approaches in the nation to drive an increase in home energy upgrades.

The centerpiece of the campaign is GreenHomeAgents.com, a new consumer website that provides a directory of local, licensed real estate professionals who have completed the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Green Designation trainings. In 2014, BIG will train more than 400 agents—at no charge, thanks to The Energy Network—across the Los Angeles region to achieve the Green Designation.

The Opportunity for Homebuyers 

But training isn’t enough to achieve results: BIG has set a goal to drive demand for green home agents' services among thousands of homebuyers in the region, and to educate homebuyers about the opportunities and benefits of green upgrades when they purchase their home. A major marketing and online advertising campaign will spread the word.

“Homebuyers can now turn to these certified agents for guidance to choose a more comfortable, healthy, and money-saving green home, or to purchase an older home and upgrade it to be more energy efficient with lower utility bills,” said Howard Choy, General Manager of the Office of Sustainability at County of Los Angeles, and Program Administrator at The Energy Network.  “This new website makes it easy for consumers to find an agent and read more about the benefits of performing green upgrades at the time of purchase.”

The Role of Real Estate Agents 

Real estate agents play an important connector role for homebuyers during their purchase process. They can match their clients to contractors, home performance specialists, and lenders who can all help them make green home improvements easy and affordable, through generous energy rebates and financing that allow them to roll green upgrades into their existing mortgage. 

"The State of California supports training certified green real estate agents because we want homeowners to consider the advantages of green homes and understand what they're buying,” said Andrew McAllister, Commissioner of the California Energy Commission. “When homeowners buy an energy-smart home, it's good for their wallets and good for the planet!"

Trainings Across The Energy Network

Across its 12-county region, The Energy Network has has waived the fees for realtors to attend successful trainings in Glendora, Rancho Cucamonga, Palm Desert, and Laguna Hills, with more scheduled throughout the year. Realtors learn what factors make a home healthy and efficient, and how any home—including a fixer-upper—can be transformed into a green dream home. They also gain skills to expand their business to serve the growing consumer demand for green homes

In tandem with its initiative to train real estate agents, BIG is also training home appraisers in how to assess the value of a home’s green features, from solar to insulation. The goal of these innovative efforts is to transform the marketplace into one where both homebuyers and home industry professionals recognize the value of green features and upgrades.

For additional information on this article, please contact:
Don Knapp
(510) 590-3360
Source: Don Knapp  

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