As the huge costs associated with stormwater runoff are becoming recognized and as smog and other pollution impacts our cities, many cities and states are encouraging “green” building methods, including green roof systems. By offering financial incentives for green roofs, municipalities help to reduce storm water surges, and therefore protect the ground water, lakes and streams, and encourage energy conservation.
Of course, incentives vary from city to city and state to state, but it is not uncommon for owners of buildings with green roofs to be generously rewarded. The city of Portland, OR, provides financial, technical and educational incentives to participants through its green roof initiative. Washington, Illinois, New York, Montreal, California and Maryland have also implemented incentive structures. Cities all across North America are following suit, and grant money is often available for the energy conservation and air and water quality benefits that green roofs bring. Be sure to check with your state and local governments. Don’t assume that nothing is available. States and municipalities benefit greatly from green roofs, and often provide tax credits, avoidance of fees assessed for impervious surfaces, grant funding, and/or favorable zoning to encourage their use.
Visit GreenRoofs.org for a list of some incentives, policies, and resources for green infrastructure.