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EcoBroker.comMember Log InIn the NewsGreen TopicsLinks & Resources

February 2009


EcoBrokers® Playing Crucial Role in Job Creation Within Residential Energy Industry

ECOBROKERS® are already contributing to the expected job creation resulting from energy improvement efforts in American homes. Your retrofit project work with clients, who are improving energy efficiency, comfort and affordability in existing homes in communities across the country, helps America’s job market. As the current administration looks to home retrofits to conserve energy, consumers are hungry for resources to help initiate money- and energy-saving projects for existing homes. You are out there meeting burgeoning requests for residential energy efficiency and renewable energy information. Trained professionals are required once your clients begin the retrofit process and you are their resource.

In a recent survey, nearly 20 percent of responding EcoBrokers® reported working with a client to complete a major cost-effective retrofit that significantly reduced energy bills. Each retrofit requires energy specialists, green materials manufacturers and suppliers, and installers. The majority of the world’s 5,000 EcoBrokers® work in the U.S.; therefore, the number of required professionals for future retrofits in our country will naturally rise to meet this demand.

“The connection the work of our membership has to the creation of jobs in the energy efficiency retrofit industry and the residential renewable energy industry is extremely relevant and timely,” said EcoBroker CEO Dr. John Beldock. “EcoBrokers® are out there serving and educating American communities. The retrofit education they are providing leads to real projects and measurable benefits for consumers, communities, and the environment.”

EcoBrokers®’ crucial role in home energy decisions truly affects the job market. Many of today’s green-collar jobs fall into industries serving homeowners seeking energy retrofits, including energy raters, insulation, air sealing, materials, and mechanical experts; high-performance contractors; and other trained and certified professionals. Increased client awareness increases the demand for energy and environmental products beyond energy and environmental work performed in energy upgrades. Take, for instance, appliances. Energy-efficient appliances come from innovative appliance manufacturers, many of whom will need to employ more great people, so demand continues to grow. Green and sustainable remodeling and building practices sometimes call for cutting-edge green materials, further opening the door for innovation and entrepreneurism. EcoBrokers are trained and continually encouraged to keep the momentum going. You simultaneously serve the American workforce as you serve your clients. You make a big difference, one client or customer at a time.

EcoBroker Update: In this Issue

EcoBrokers® Playing Crucial Role in Job Creation

How the Stimulus Benefits "Green"

EcoBrokers® In the News 

Environmental & Real Estate Headlines

Build Green Business With EcoBroker's Online Tools

Radiant Barriers

Download the New EcoBroker Certified® Designation Logo

Web Site of the Month

The Green Investigator

Upcoming Green Events

EcoBroker Awards & Accolades













Contact Us
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How the Stimulus Benefits “Green”
(And How You Can Position Yourself to Benefit as Well)

By Ryan Moehring

You may think there is too much “pork” in the recently signed stimulus bill. Or perhaps too much spending or too many tax cuts. Its passage may offend your Keynesian or Monetarist economic views, and may, you believe, lead to the very demise of capitalism itself. (OK, that may be going too far.) You may not think we need a stimulus at all—that we should let the free market recover on its own. Whatever your political and economic viewpoint, if you believe our country’s energy policy needs a fundamental change, and that energy efficiency and renewable energy can simultaneously stimulate the economy and help the planet, chances are you are excited about the green provisions of the bill.

To say the stimulus is big is an understatement. It is huge, colossal, gargantuan even. It is the largest spending bill the world has ever seen, which is a frightening proposition to say the least. However, if you can get past the staggering debt created by the bill, you’ll find unprecedented subsidies for the energy sector. Here is an abbreviated summary of some of the energy-related provisions that can impact your real estate business:

  • $6.3 billion for energy efficiency in multifamily housing getting federal assistance, such as HUD-sponsored low-income housing

  • $5 billion to weatherize more than 1 million homes owned by "modest-income" families.

  • $4.5 billion to increase the energy efficiency of federal buildings

  • $4 billion to repair and modernize public housing units

  • $2 billion to increase the tax credit for hybrid cars to $7,500

  • $1.4 billion for bonds to carry out state and local renewable energy and conservation projects

  • $510 million to repair and modernize more than 4,000 Native American housing units

  • $500 million to train workers for careers in energy efficiency and renewable energy

  • $300 million for consumer rebates for energy-efficient appliances

  • $268 million to remove caps on a 30 percent residential credit for solar, wind, and geothermal

  • $250 million to HUD to improve the efficiency of government-subsidized apartments

The New York Times released a detailed breakdown of the energy provisions here.

Interesting Facts About the $5 Billion Dedicated to Weatherization Assistance

  • This amount could weatherize 1 million homes and, directly and indirectly, create 375,000 jobs.

  • Low-income families will save an average of $350 annually from weatherization.

  • Every investment of $1 billion in clean energy programs creates nearly 5,000 more jobs than traditional infrastructure spending.

As a real estate professional, you may be wondering how you can benefit from all of this spending. Here are a few suggestions:

You can always contact your state energy office and obtain information about their weatherization program. Once you have this information, how can you apply it?

Do you know someone on your lead list, or perhaps a past client, who could use some free insulation or some caulking around their windows? Why wouldn’t you take the time to connect a potential client with free weatherization money for home improvements that will actually improve their comfort and quality of life? 

When the time comes to sell their home, who do you think they are going to call? Mr. Big Shot REALTOR® with the huge advertising budget? Or the considerate agent who thoughtfully took the time to help make their winter a little more comfortable?

Maybe you’ve already helped a family move into a green home, or have helped them retrofit it. You already know that green topics are important to them, so why wouldn’t you tell them about the $7,500 tax credit for purchasing a plug-in hybrid vehicle?

Do they already have a hybrid? Tell them about the rebates for energy-efficient appliances.

Even better, how about informing them about the removal of the 30 percent cap on residential solar systems? Combine this credit with local incentives currently offered by a number of states and your clients can start producing their own energy for around one-fourth of the sticker price. Now that’s exciting!

Whatever the scenario, you should know that your competition will be putting the stimulus to good use. How will your business benefit? Start planning today.














EcoBrokers® In the News...

Did you know? Premiums for new buildings average just 2 percent and most green buildings cost less than 4 percent more than conventional buildings, with the greatest concentration of premiums in the 0 percent to 1 percent range according to a global study Green Buildings and Communities: Costs and Benefits, written by sustainability expert Greg Kats. The study also stated that key indicators of building value such as occupancy, sale prices and lease rates tend to be higher in green buildings than in conventional buildings.

Brad Sandler, EcoBroker Certified® real estate professional with Green Door Living in Denver, Colorado, was featured in a recent Denver Post article, Home of your green dreams, where Sandler helped Lindsey Kruger of Denver connect with professionals able to perform cost-effective environmentally friendly and sustainable upgrades to homes. Kruger, who works in sustainable interior design, wanted to make green innovations to her home but needed guidance to find area professionals who could do the work. John Beldock, CEO of EcoBroker® is also quoted in the article saying that EcoBrokers® are trained to help home buyers and sellers take advantage of the latest rebates, grants and incentives available to consumers, making working with an EcoBroker® worth the experience. EcoBroker Certified® agents Lara Williams, Steve Caplan and Ken Deshaies are also mentioned in the article. Read the entire Denver Post article here.

Green Drinks is a regular gathering in the Hamptons that brings together “hundreds” of energy- and environmental-minded professionals, educators, officials and advocates throughout the Long Island region to talk about their experiences and products new to the green industry. The best news picked up that evening came from The Great Green Weekend Hamptons 2009 founder and EcoBroker® Catherine Bedard. The three-day green celebration will take place Aug. 14 through Aug. 16 with a plethora of parties, educational experiences and the chance to give back to the earth. Read all about the Green Drinks event and the Great Green Weekend announcement in the Out & About section of the February 23rd Hampton.com article, Green Drinks in Winter Brings Summer News.  

In the article EcoBroker: green living in Lewes on CapeGazette.com, Susan Pomerantz, EcoBroker Certified® agent at Ocean Atlantic Sotheby’s International Realty, announced that she recently partnered with Zero Energy Homes to market several low-impact homes to be built in the historic Lewes, Delaware, downtown district. The affordable green homes are supposed to blend with the current architectural style of the area and feature the latest in green construction and technologies. Congratulations to Susan on this important partnership! Read the entire announcement article here.  

In a February 11, 2009, business wire release by Bonham Asset Management, a premier Pittsburgh area property management firm, EcoBroker Certified® agent Coral Stengel is mentioned as “the listing agent” to market and show what Bonham Asset Management says is “the area’s only single-floor condo community featuring advanced environmental and sustainable features.” The release, which appeared on MarketWatch, “Pittsburgh’s Green Condominium Community Leads Local Lifestyle Movement” says the project really raises the bar for green living in terms of design and sustainability. Bonham Asset Management undoubtedly chose Stengel because she is “certified in helping clients market real estate with green features,” through her EcoBroker training. Read the release here.

Congratulations to EcoBroker Certified® agent Russell Dane, who was named the Ada County Idaho Association of Realtors president as reported by the Idaho Statesman in a recent article, New Realtors president is cautiously optimistic. In the article, Dane is quoted as saying his priority for the Association is continuous education. “I think it is especially important for agents to educate themselves about green building initiatives, energy efficiency and how these trends affect the cost of home ownership,” says Dane. Read the entire article here.

Realtor® June Gardner of Evers & Co. Real Estate Inc. in Northwest Washington is featured in a February Washington Times article on energy-saving upgrades. Gardner is among the first Realtors in the Washington area to earn the EcoBroker Certified® designation. Content focuses on how “green building” elements apply to the average consumer. Although saving the planet is a “lofty goal shared by many people,” nearly everyone wants to save money with energy efficiency improvements. Read the entire informative article here.

  - Have you talked to the press and been quoted in an article? Let us know! We love hearing about and sharing all the great things our EcoBrokers® are doing. Please email Mark at mgashler@ecobroker.com if you would like to appear in next month’s EcoBrokers® In the News section.

Environmental & Real Estate Headlines...

Stimulus Package Sets Aside Money for Consumers
How could the stimulus package boost green technology? Money for weatherization and energy efficiency improvements are two areas where homeowners may benefit from the stimulus package. Read more...

Could Your Business be “Green Certified?”
Is there an authority that certifies a company as green? The wheels are in motion, says Andrea Green, president of Globally Green Consulting of Los Angeles. According to Green in a recent Los Angeles Times article, green business certifications are “just getting going.” Read how your business could become green certified soon.

Does Cutting Costs Override Green Business Travel?
Green business travel is a mid-level priority for some companies but, for now, the high costs of green travel is still a deterrent, according to a new survey by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) and KDS (an e-commerce software provider for corporate travel and expense). “The survey, which canvassed 300 travel managers and business travelers worldwide, finds that greener travel options such as high speed rail are suffering in the recession as organizations prioritize cost-saving over sustainability.” Read the entire article here.

NAHB National Green Building Standard™ Earns Approval
The National Green Building Standard™ for all residential construction work including single-family homes, apartments and condos, land development and remodeling and renovation was approved recently by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The approval signals a new era for the nation’s builders, remodelers and developers and also provides an extra measure of reassurance for home buyers, said Joe Robson, a home builder in Tulsa, Okla., and chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). A more expansive third-party rating system opens up more opportunities for homebuilders and remodelers to achieve green certification. Read the entire article here.

Lattes in Hot Water Conservation?
You may count yourself among the concerned regarding our planet’s water conservation but has that ever led you to ponder how many gallons are used to create your morning latte? “It’s just a few ingredients,” you say. But have you considered what’s required to make and distribute all the ingredients? And the cup? And the lid? And the sleeve? Find out how many gallons of water it takes to make one latte here.

More Headlines:

High-Tech and Green Lobbies Have Obama's Ear

Five Good Ways to Get Green Power Into Your Home

Will the Stimulus Benefit Homeowners and Buyers?

Washington Report: Non-Repayable Tax Credit

Washington Post and Trulia Announce Real Estate Partnership


Build Green Business with EcoBroker's Online Tools...

Send Your Buyers & Sellers Links to the Latest "Green" Topics
Simply go to the ECOBROKER "Green" Topics page and select a green topic. Once you have the topic page open in your Web browser, copy and paste the Web address into an email and send it to your buyers and sellers. Include the topic's introductory paragraph to pique interest. Below is an example. Just copy the link and initial information below and include it in an email to your buyers and sellers who may be interested.

Radiant Barriers

Snapshot & Benefits:
The roof is a large source of heat in many homes. Rays from the sun enter through the roof, and while heat is absorbed by the attic, some heat diffuses down through the attic floor and throughout the house. In the winter, heat is also easily lost through the roof. A well-insulated roof can have a big impact on a home's cooling costs, and some impact on heating costs. Radiant barriers prove to be some of the most effective insulation that can be installed in a roof.

Click here to learn more...


Download the New EcoBroker Certified® Designation Logo

EcoBroker Certified 

As many of you have seen, EcoBroker has strategically rolled out a new corporate logo over the course of the last year. We have received tremendous positive feedback on the new corporate branding and are thrilled to roll out the new EcoBroker Certified® designation logo to our certified members. Certified EcoBrokers® simply log in to your EcoBroker.com account using your unique username and password and click on "Marketing Materials" in the left-hand menu bar. Find a link to download certification logos under the paragraph titled "EcoBroker Certified® Logos."

Additionally, we are in the process of updating our marketing templates. They will include the new branding very soon. Should you have an immediate need, please call us at 303-674-7770, and we can expedite the process on a particular item.

For those of you who like the "original" logo, don't worry. You can email us if you need a copy of the original logo.

Web Site of the Month...


Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency
You may be curious about how the recently passed stimulus package affects energy incentives offered in your state. The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) web site is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility and federal incentives that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Choose one or both databases to search Renewable Energy and/or Energy Efficiency. You can click on your state or click on the smaller U.S. map to look at federal incentives. Check it out at http://www.dsireusa.org/.

Green InvestigatorThe Green Investigator

QUESTION: Can I use CFLs on a dimmer switch?

ANSWER: Light fixtures on dimmable circuits need no longer pose a barrier to environmentally conscious households, according to an article on Treehugger.com. Dimmable CFL bulbs are available; however, the cost is higher than regular CFL bulbs, with a 23 Watt dimmable CFL bulb selling at around $9. Lights on a dimmer use less electricity when the lights are dimmed proportional with brightness. For example, a 100 Watt bulb dimmed halfway uses 50 Watts. CFL bulbs can save you 75% on top of that. Find out how to calculate your savings when switching to CFLs here.

CalendarUpcoming Green Events...

Upcoming Events You Won’t Want to Miss!
In the interest of ongoing education and networking, we have compiled a list of events across the country that EcoBrokers® will enjoy attending. Attend a conference or expo and you’ll collect information, meet the experts, bump into like-minded professionals in real estate and other industries, and potentially interact with consumers who’ll become your next buyers or sellers! Here are just a few examples of such events happening around the country. For additional green events, please visit the EcoBroker website at: http://www.ecobroker.com/userdef/eventscalendar.htm

  • BuiltGreen Conference 2009
    March 6, Seattle, WA
    This event features keynote speaker Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and a products expo.

  • BuildingEnergy09- The Building Energy Conference & Trade Show
    March 10 - 12 – Boston, MA
    Workshops and sessions by more than 150 experts on a wide range of topics – climate change in the U.S. and abroad, carbon stabilization, high-performance buildings, adaptive re-use, renewables, natural daylighting, near net zero energy buildings, wind power, green design, integrated water systems, solar applications, financing green projects, human health issues, and much more. Hundreds of the latest green products are featured.

  • Indiana Building Green Symposium 2009
    March 12 - 13, 2009 – Indianapolis, IN
    The third annual Indiana Building Green Symposium 2009 brings together nonprofit, education and civic organizations as the largest annual green building event in Indiana. Organizing partners include local chapters of: USGBC; AIA; BOMA; CSI; IIDA; ASHRAE; Ball State; and the Indiana Housing Authority.

  • Energy Trust Better Living Show
    March 27 - 29, 2009 – Portland, OR
    The Northwest’s largest sustainable lifestyle show. In case you haven't noticed, green is hip. That means new products, new ideas and evolving attitudes. Now there's an event in Portland where it all comes together in one place. And best yet, admission is FREE! We'll introduce you to businesses and groups in our region that will help you make choices you feel good about. All presented in an entertaining way like you've never seen before. It's simply too good to miss.

  • World Wellness
    April 4 – 5, 2009 – Albuquerque, NM
    One of the first consumer shows to expand the traditional definitions of “wellness” and “sustainability” into a synchronistic whole by featuring speakers, products and services in its program that are focused on health, the environment, social justice, personal development and sustainable living. Attendees emerge not only connected to others in their community, but also educated, inspired and empowered to take action during this critical time of global change.

  • Building Integrated Photovoltaic Summit
    April 6-8, 2009 - Hilton Del Mar, San Diego, CA
    Photovoltaics integrated into the building envelope may be the most revolutionary of all clean energy solutions. Building Integrated PV (BIPV) systems are able to utilize the entire building surface—from walls to windows and roofing-—to capture not just "peak" sunlight, but incident and even ambient light. This dramatically increases the total potential, in terms of square footage, for distributed generation (with zero transmission loss and cost). BIPV has the potential to transform the energy hog buildings of today into the “Net Zero Buildings” of tomorrow. For the first time in the U.S., Infocast’s BIPV Summit will bring together PV manufacturers, architects/designers, commercial real estate developers and large home builders, building engineers, the building material industry, roofing contractors, solar installers/integrators, distributors, balance-of-system vendors, and venture and equity investors to identify common roadblocks and devise synergistic breakthroughs. This event is the must-attend gathering for any decision-maker with a stake in BIPV, energy efficiency, green high performance buildings or distributed generation. Participants at BIPV Summit will build relationships, make deals, and together forge a dynamic new segment of the clean energy and green building economy. Visit the summit web site to register and download a brochure.

  • Green Summit
    April 9, 2009, 7:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. - Drake Centre, Ft. Collins, CO
    Sustainability – doing business in a socially and environmentally responsible way – provides abundant opportunities for companies to make money yet remain good environmental stewards. The Green Summit offers speakers and seminars to help us all become better stewards of this mission and learn how to be more "green." The 2009 Climate Wise EnvirOvation Awards will be made at a free reception following the Green Summit. (You must be registered.) For information, contact De Dahlgren, Marketing Director via email at ddahlgren@ncbr.com or phone (970) 221-5400 ext. 202. Register online here.

    April 22, 2009 - Celebrations everywhere!

  • NAHB National Green Building Conference
    May 8 - 10, 2009 – Dallas, TX
    Get contacts, tools and ideas that are good for both the environment and your bottom line. The NAHB National Green Building Conference is the only national conference targeted to green building for the mainstream residential building industry.

  • Greener By Design Conference
    “Greener Products for Leaner Times”
    May 19-20, 2009 - The Palace Hotel, San Francisco, CA
    Bringing green products to the mainstream requires a focus on aligning environmental innovation with affordability. But how are successful companies designing greener products with little or no price premium? Join us at Greener By Design 2009 to see who’s evolving, who’s thriving, and how they’re producing products that aren’t just greener, but better — and more affordable.

    •   Learn how consumer package goods companies are rethinking product
         formulations and delivery systems to reduce costs and improve quality
    •   See the next generation of products and packaging based on cutting-edge “green
    •   Discover the marketing approaches companies are using to gain trust from
         skeptical mainstream consumers Greener By Design is the premier conference for
         strategies, tools, and markets for product innovation.

    For more information and to register, visit the Greener Design web site.

For additional green events, please visit the EcoBroker website at: http://www.ecobroker.com/userdef/eventscalendar.htm

EcoBroker Awards & Accolades...

2008 Top Green Building & Business Certifications Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS) Journal

25 Trends Driving Today's Market
REALTOR Magazine

2006 Education Program of the Year

Real Estate
Educators Association



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