Chapter 23 – Control of Land Use and Green Initiatives

The 15th Edition of Modern Real Estate Practice in Texas was published in November 2011.  So far, there are no crucial updates to the content of Chapter 23.  However, there are some FYI issues to note:

Private Property Rights vs. Wetlands:  “In a victory for property owners, on March 21, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and in favor of property owners in a wetlands case (Sackett v. EPA). The case has broad property rights and wetlands policy implications.”  National Apartment Association.  “Political Insider,” Units, May 2012.

Green Building Certifications:  Energy Star seems to have become the most popular new home energy rating system among homebuilders looking to differentiate themselves from the competition.  Energy Star provides a way for consumers to compare one home against another.  Posted to the home’s electrical box, the Energy Star label is loaded with important information, including annual usage estimates for electricity, natural gas and CO2 emissions. It also projects the owner’s yearly energy savings and includes a HERS (Home Energy Rating System) rating.  The standard new home built to 2009 standards would rate a 100.  The HERS score drops if builders do anything more than what is required in the way of energy efficiency.  Each one-point decrease in the HERS index corresponds to a 1% reduction in energy consumption.  Houses with a 72 rating are 28% more efficient than a standard house; a house with a 50 rating would be 50% more efficient, etc.  (Lew Sichelman.  “Blue Label Signals an Energy-Efficient Home,” Origination News, September 2012.)

 

Updated:  April 16, 2013
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© 2009 Cheryl Nance. All Rights Reserved.

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