Ahwatukee Foothills residents will soon be able to save green as they go green with Phoenix's Green Building Program.

For the first time the city of Phoenix is offering discounted or free permits for installing solar water heaters, energy efficient air conditioners, insulation, ENERGY STAR ceiling fans, energy-efficient windows, solar space heating and more.

The program begins Oct. 4, and will go until the $500,000 of federal stimulus money is gone. The program is being funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

In the past, residents had to pay the city anywhere from $75 to $300 for a permit to build these items and to inspect them once they were built. The city hopes these new incentives will make it easier and more attractive to build energy efficient buildings.

"It's a great move in the right direction," said Gary Gietz, owner and CEO of Green Monster. His company visits with residents in the Valley and helps them understand how easy going green can be. They help customers find grants and programs to help pay most of the cost. Gietz said these new incentives will really help.

"Any assistance to make it happen is a wonderful thing," he added.

The program will run on a points system. The more items that are updated, the more incentives are given. Incentives are open to anyone building in the city of Phoenix.

"This is the first time in our history that we will offer incentives to our customers," said Cindy Stotler, acting assistant director of the city's Planning and Development Services. "We are very excited that these incentives will help promote sustainable building in Phoenix."

Stotler suggests planning now to begin taking advantage of incentives in October. A complete list of what discounts are being offered can be found on the city's website at phoenix.gov/DEVSERV.

Allison Hurtado is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a junior at Arizona State University.


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