Although homeowners often receive rebates for installing energy or water-saving products like toilets and appliances, now builders in the Northwest can benefit from an environmental-based rebate of their own.

Regional green building program Built Green has teamed with Bellevue, Wash.-based Cascade Water Alliance to offer $1,000 rebates for homes that are built to WaterSense New Homes requirements and achieve a minimum of Built Green 3-star certification. This one-of-a-kind incentive will be provided to area builders for up to 50 single-family home construction projects. No single builder can receive more than ten rebates during 2015.

The WaterSense specification addresses water efficiency during the planning and design stages of home construction, where significant impacts can be achieved using readily available technologies. (See related article here.) WaterSense labeled homes must have:

--WaterSense labeled plumbing fixtures that have been independently certified for efficiency and performance. Required labeled products include toilets, bathroom faucets, showerheads, an efficient hot water delivery system that stores no more than .5 gallon of water between the source of hot water (the water heater or a recirculation loop) and the furthest fixture in the home. Recirculation systems must be demand initiated (push button or motion sensor activated).

--Energy Star-qualified clothes washer and dishwasher (if included)

--A maximum service pressure of 60 psi

--No leaks

"We are very excited about partnering with the Cascade Water Alliance on this program, which provides a meaningful incentive to builders, and will benefit our aquatic habitat and the overall environment," said Aaron Adelstein, director of community stewardship at Master Builders Association, which runs the Built Green program.