Neighborhood out to save more than energy

Friday, October 9, 2009 at 2:01am

One Nashville neighborhood is getting ready to take the lead on an initiative to improve the energy efficiency of older homes.

The Urban Land Institute, Village Real Estate Services and Nashville Electric Service are sponsoring the Go Green District 18, which kicked things off Thursday night with an event at Belmont United Methodist Church.

The initiative hopes to reduce the district's energy emissions by 5 percent.

To do this, neighborhood leaders are encouraging homeowners to apply for a $150 NES appraisal of their home's efficiency. The fee will be reimbursed if the recommended improvements are made and they work totals more than $150. Homeowners can also be reimbursed 50 percent of the costs up to $500.

“There is an untapped desire to do this and I think it just provides an little incentive and nudge to do something a lot of us know we should do but just haven't gotten around to it,” says District 18 Councilwoman Kristine LaLonde, who is working with the sponsors on the initiative.

The hope is to have 360 homes and 36 businesses signed up for the evaluation by 2010.

LaLonde said she hopes the program will serve as a model for initiatives in other districts. When she initially announced the program at this week's council meeting, a number of other council representative showed interest in the initiative, she said.

The trendy district — sandwiched between Vanderbilt and 12South — includes Belmont, Hillsboro Village and Eakin School.