All new homes in Montgomery County, Maryland, will be required to comply with environmental and energy-efficiency standards.
"The measure, meant to reduce energy consumption by 15 to 30 percent, is part of a far-reaching environmental initiative. It includes property tax credits for residents who switch to renewable energy, a requirement that residents disclose utility costs when they sell a home and a plan to get county officials to trade in their government-issued sport-utility vehicles."
"Developers in the Washington region have been voluntarily building homes with energy-efficient appliances and heating and cooling systems. But Montgomery officials said the county would become the first in the country to require that new single-family homes and townhouses meet Energy Star standards created by the Environmental Protection Agency to encourage the use of energy-efficient windows, tightly sealed structures and effective insulation. Oregon, a Dallas suburb and Gaithersburg have similar programs."
"Other jurisdictions in the region have tackled pieces of Montgomery's energy package, but none has taken on so many issues at once. Arlington County fuels its diesel vehicles with biodiesel, almost 10 percent of Fairfax County's employees participate in a telecommuting program and Howard County provides tax credits to homeowners who install solar or geothermal heating systems."