Green home-remodeling options on display at expo

By Justin Fujioka
Published On: Aug 09 2013 09:49:24 PM HST
HONOLULU -

With energy costs on the rise, more and more homeowners are going green.

The most popular path: Photovoltaic systems.

"You can take any electric bill and reduce it all the way down to the minimum charge from HECO, which is around $16 and that energy will continue to have an effect on you for 25-plus years," said Frank Perreira of Hawaii Energy Connection.

The latest in energy-efficient technology is on display this weekend at the Building Industry Association of Hawaii's Remodel it Right, Remodel it Green Expo at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center's Exhibition Hall.

Unfortunately, it's still quite costly and, for some, outweighs potential savings, especially when mortgage lenders don't factor those savings into a home's value.

That may change with the Sensible Accounting to Value Energy, or SAVE Act, which was introduced by a bipartisan coalition in the U.S. Senate in June.

If passed, the measure could qualify you for a larger mortgage if your home is green. But experts say you shouldn't wait for this legislation to switch over to solar power.

"I really wouldn't suggest waiting because right now, our state-tax credits, 35 percent, up to $5,000 for up to a 5-kilowatt system and there's a lot of pressure on the legislature to change that and actually reduce our tax credits," said Perreira.

He said this change will likely come next year.

The city has already reduced its PV incentives.

"The city and county passed Bill 15, probably March or April, that started to charge for building-permit fees for PV installation," said Gladys Quinto Marrone, government relations director for BIA-Hawaii.

The BIA-Hawaii Remodel it Right, Remodel it Green Expo continues Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center's Exhibition Hall. Admission is $7.

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