As an Easter gift to builders, it appears as though Saanich has created an incentive for small builders to go 'green'. We applaud this, Saanich can afford it, and quite frankly, we can't see anything wrong with consuming less and producing less by-products. If it takes a bit of an incentive to get the ball rolling, then so be it.
That said, how do you feel about green homes? We can't imagine many people would have any issues with the idea of building more efficient houses, but costs could be a deterrent.
Should Saanich have created an incentive for consumers rather than builders? Are you more likely to buy a green home than one that hasn't been built to meet the same standards?
As first time buyers with a bit of an environmental conscience, we'd love to find something in our price range that fits the ticket. The likelihood of that is nil.
We've looked at the Dockside Green development seriously. We like the ideas and think the location and the amenities would be attractive. But we're not big on the prices, the condo lifestyle and couldn't see ourselves stretching into a townhouse there.
Politically speaking, we prefer incentives to regulations. So we think that providing incentives to builders rather than requiring them to build a certain way is a good thing. But we also think Saanich really missed the boat. Why not provide those rebates to the consumer directly: that way we can reno our house (if possible) to meet the standards? That's how the Federal rebate program works; Saanich could have added-on to make the whole thing really attractive to homeowners/buyers, and go beyond changing light bulbs, appliances and furnaces.
Will you buy green? Will you pay a premium to buy green? Will green be worth more in the RE market?