If you're looking to buy a home in Greater Boston and want to do your part to save the environment, you might want to take a closer look at Newton Centre, one of the 13 villages that make up the city of Newton. In a recent study that was conducted by the real estate website Redfin, the village was ranked as one of the greenest neighborhoods in the U.S. The city of Newton as a whole has a reputation for putting green living first. Boston City Properties can help you find a great home in Newton Centre, Newton or elsewhere in Greater Boston. First, though, read on to learn more about one of the greenest neighborhoods in the country.
Eye-Opening Study Gives Newton Centre High Marks
So, how did Newton Centre end up near the top of such a prestigious list? It all came about thanks to a study that was conducted by Redfin, a popular real estate website. For the purposes of the study, Redfin looked at homes that were listed in Redfin markets around the country from April 2014 to April 2016. They then calculated what percentage of those homes had the following green features: solar panels, an ENERGY STAR rating or a LEED certification.
For a listing to be considered "green," it had to mention at least one of those three features. Incredibly, 49 percent of listings in Newton Centre included such features. This resulted in a fourth-place ranking for the village. Only three other neighborhoods outperformed Newton Centre: downtown Santa Monica, CA, at 51 percent; Villages of Irvine in Irvine, CA, at 56 percent; and Villanova, a neighborhood near Philadelphia, PA, at 57 percent. Clearly, homeowners in Newton Centre care about doing their part to save the environment. That's particularly true because new green homes aren't really being built in Newton Centre. Rather, homeowners are taking steps to make their homes greener, and it's working.
About Newton Centre
Newton Centre is just one of 13 villages that make up the city of Newton. As the name of the village implies, it serves as a center of activity for the city, and it's home to the city's biggest commercial center. Bounded roughly by Beacon Street, Centre Street and Langley Road, Newton Centre is also home to numerous single-family homes, condos and other residential properties. Based on the study, a considerable percentage of these homes have solar panels or are certified by LEED or ENERGY STAR.
Part of the reason that so many homes in Newton Centre are green is because of the success of Mass Save. An initiative that is sponsored by electric and natural gas utilities, Mass Save provides an array of resources for helping homeowners to live more sustainably. These efforts include home energy assessments that highlight areas in the home that can be improved to increase energy efficiency and rebates and incentives for the installation of various environmentally friendly appliances, equipment and features. Mass Save also offers zero-interest loans that can be used to purchase solar panels and other energy-saving equipment.
Newton Solar Challenge
A while back, the city of Newton established a goal of reducing energy use by 20 percent by the year 2020. To achieve this goal, the city started the Newton Solar Challenge, an initiative that provides free evaluations for switching over to solar power. Residents of Newton who are interested in solar can participate in this initiative to get the assistance that they need. They can take their pick from carefully selected regional solar power companies to perform the installation as well as from a wide array of American-made solar panels and other equipment. Newton Solar Challenge also provides flexible residential solar loan options to make the technology more affordable and accessible.
Newton Energy Savers
Mayor Setti Warren kick-started a number of initiatives to make Newton as environmentally friendly and sustainable as possible. The Newton Energy Savers initiative is one example of this effort. This main objective of this program is to conduct 1,000 home energy assessments within one year. The program started on October 1st, and dozens of homeowners have already signed up. It is estimated that when combined with other initiatives by the mayor and city, this program will save local taxpayers $30 to $40 million over the next 20 years.
The free home energy assessments go a long way toward making homes more sustainable--and homeowners more knowledgeable. A professional walks through the home, assessing it for things like insulation, air sealing, appliance efficiency and the like. Recommendations are also provided, and they are detailed and actionable. Additionally, participants in these home energy assessments enjoy the free installation of LED lightbulbs in qualified fixtures. Free aerators and low-flow shower heads are also provided, so the energy savings start right away.
Newton Community Solar Share Initiative
The mayor of Newton understands that not all residents can afford to switch to solar--even after taking advantage of rebates, incentives and financing options. To address this, and to ensure that all residents reap the benefits of the city's many energy saving initiatives, the mayor rolled out the Newton Community Solar Share Initiative. This initiative takes solar credits that the city receives from local utilities and shares a portion of them with low-income residents. Participants can then use these credits to reduce their monthly utility bills. More than 1,000 households will ultimately benefit from this initiative.
An initiative of the U.S. Green Building Council, or USBC, LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, seeks to recognize buildings that adhere to eco-friendly guidelines. The organizations score green building design and construction and provide certifications. Many homes in Newton are LEED certified. This certification is typically only awarded to new homes, as older homes must essentially be gutted to be assessed. LEED certification levels go from Certified to Silver to Gold to Platinum depending on the types of features that are included. When looking for a green home in or near Newton Centre, keep your eyes peeled for a mention of LEED certification.
ENERGY STAR Certification
Most people are familiar with ENERGY STAR, the initiative that was established by the U.S. government to promote energy efficient appliances, design and construction, because of the ratings that they provide to appliances. ENERGY STAR rated appliances are far more energy efficient than others. ENERGY STAR also provides certifications for homes and other buildings. ENERGY STAR certified homes and buildings use 15 to 30 percent less energy. Various aspects of a home's design are considered, including its complete thermal enclosure, its water protection system and its lighting and appliances.
Live Green in Newton Centre
Buying an energy efficient home won't just save you a lot of money on your utilities. It will also help you do your part to save the planet, as using less energy means producing less waste. If you want to buy a green home, Newton Centre is a great place to look. The best way to find a great, energy efficient home in Newton Centre is by connecting with Boston City Properties. Sign up now to search our constantly updated database for homes for sale in this charming city. Our team is here to help too, so give us a call today.