More Green for That Green Roof?
The Times quotes a two-year study from Michigan State University that green roof projects in a million-person city could capture 55,000 tons of CO2 annually, potentially saving billions of dollars in energy bills. That's good news for landlords, who after all, have multiple units to rent; but what about you? Will your landlord pass along any savings associated with reduced energy usage to you in rent? Or are green roofs a great excuse for landlords to position their buildings as luxury accommodations and capture more money per unit?
As the urgency for green initiatives grows, so does the risk of green-washing-using environmentalism as a cover for making money or even using more resources. You might have a green roof, but if you use heavy duty incandescent spotlights. all the benefits may be canceled out with the flick of a switch.
Granted, the cost of installing a green roof can be significant. Any savings a landlord creates over time is unlikely to be passed along to you, Ms. Renter. More likely, you'll pay extra for the privilege and prestige of a green roof. (Take a look at these full-blown LEED certified apartment complexes.) Anybody prefer "green bragging rights" to a full wallet? Elevator up....