Green Energy Money-financed house wins Fine Homebuilding Magazine’s HOUSES 2015 Award as Best Energy-Smart Home



Green Building Features

  • Rainwater Harvesting (as only source of water)
  • 5kw Solar System
  • Geothermal
  • Solar Hot Water
  • HERS Index 7


Yearly utility payments – $295, including water
Yearly energy savings – $3,112
Water savings – 100% reduction

“The GEM team was thoroughly knowledgeable about all of the ins and outs of green and sustainable building and how to properly construct a loan program that embraced our approach to building (rather than penalizing us for going green the way the other lender tried to do), including our insistence on using only 100% rainwater collection for all of our water needs. Their thorough, customer-centric approach ensured we were guided down the most efficient loan path. I would highly recommend them for anyone contemplating building a green home.” 

                                                                                                               Tom Kolnowski, homeowner

Our experience with Green Energy Money (GEM) has been great. They truly know how to value a green building. For this project they were able to appropriately appraise, and affordable finance this amazing 100% rainwater home when no one else could. GEM is the future of green financing!” 

                                                                                                   Eddie Thomas, Build Native, Austin, Texas

What’s Included in a Case Study

Case studies are about the numbers and the stories behind them. Each GEM case study profiles information about the property and the quantified results of the actual project; information includes square footage, project costs, energy savings and, if applicable, energy production.


Current Case Studies

Green Energy is passionate about Green Lending says long-term client

Company: Strong Roots ATX High Performance Home Features: Solar, Solar hot water, Geothermal, High performance building envelope materials-insulation, E-Windows (Double, Triple) HERS Index Rating (Not Mandatory): -1 Home Square Footage: 2250 Testimonial “Green Energy Money has been our primary green … Read More

Houston Existing Green Home Achieves Success – Green Appraisal Valuation

High Performance Home Features High performance building envelope materials-insulation HERS Index Rating 61 Home Square Footage 4414 Experience Rating   Green Energy Money (GEM), Inc. and The Federal Savings Bank were persistent in supporting me in the mortgage refinance for my … Read More

High Performance Retrofit- Hill Country, Texas

  OWNERS FOUND A WAY TO SAVE MONEY AND IMPROVE THEIR ENERGY BILLS       This existing home already had a good building envelope.  The owners wanted to add some renewable, high-performance measures and were able to achieve their … Read More

High Performance Building | Dallas, TX

  HERS Index Rating is 49 Home Square Footage 2,613 Teresa and The Federal Savings Bank have been an absolute pleasure to work with. Teresa has a deep understanding of the green home financial landscape and a deep passion to promote … Read More

Net-Zero Solar | Austin, Tx

Austin Custom Built – Completed March 2015 “The GEM and The Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Teams helped us every step of the way, from the construction loan through to the final mortgage.  They was able to explain to us how … Read More

Tear Down | Austin, TX

We love our neighborhood and lot. But our home was old, uncomfortable and the energy bills were going up. After a very intensive analysis, Solluna Builders determined that fixing the house would be more expensive than tearing it down and … Read More

Net Zero | Salt Lake City, UT

First Salt Lake City Net Zero Project ”We are committed to supporting the environment and to reducing our energy consumption by building a high-performance home that would realize these benefits; and ultimately save us money on our utility bills and … Read More

Case Study: Driftwood, TX – 100% Rainwater

“Our experience with Green Energy Money (GEM) and SecurityNational Mortgage Company (SNMC) has been great. They truly know how to value a green building. For this project they were able to appropriately appraise, and affordably finance this amazing 100% rainwater … Read More

Net-Zero | Austin, TX

“My wife and I had a main focus of balancing cost with responsible stewardship; reducing our energy consumption and carbon footprint. We understood that the upfront costs, versus a long-term financial plan of dramatically reducing utility and operating costs would … Read More

Near Net-Zero | Manchaca, TX

“Our hat is off to Green Energy Money (GEM) and SecurityNational Mortgage Company (SNMC). They helped us make our clients’ dream a reality. The homeowners wanted an energy-efficient, high-performance home, including a solar photovoltaic system and whole-house potable rainwater system. … Read More

Light EE Retrofit | Leander, TX

“Not only did we receive a lower interest rate through GEM‘s lenders, but the Green Appraisal increased our market value and covered the costs of the upgrades. We are “true” believers in GEM‘s methods and programs.” – Betty Saenz, Building … Read More

Deep Retrofit | Austin, TX

“The Green Energy Money (GEM) and SecurityNational Mortgage Company (SNMC) team have assisted my wife and I, twice, with refinancing our personal passive house designed home through their green appraisal program. Both times, we received a generous recognized valuation, competitive … Read More

Net-Zero Home| Austin, TX

Energy Efficiency Improvement 75% – 100%+ Karen and Dan Cripe designed and built their custom home in Round Rock, Texas with the expertise and support of Solluna Builders, a custom home builder who specializes in net-zero projects. Their home has … Read More

Net-Zero Surplus | Mitchell, OR

This exemplary case study demonstrates the economic possibilities for building and business owners alike. New construction projects offer a higher cost benefit when energy production offsets transportation costs as well as building costs. The owners were able to produce enough … Read More

Net-Zero Project | Santa Fe,NM

Madelyn, a Santa Fe, New Mexico homeowner and single mother upgraded her 3200- square foot home with solar power. Her building was less than 10 years old, and the building insulation, all equipment and appliances were energy-efficient and well-maintained. She … Read More

Deep Retrofit | Arlington, VA

This home was purchased and retrofitted with additional square footage prior to the new owners moving in. Data from local electric and gas companies using their regional average usage costs was used as a baseline. We believe the energy reduction … Read More

Light Retrofit |Austin, TX

Greg, a rental property owner in Austin, Texas owns a single-family house that is over 30 years old. Although he maintained the property, his new tenant complained that she was too cold and that the house was drafty and uncomfortable. … Read More

What’s the HERS Index?

At GEM, we believe that one of the key reasons Americans haven’t made more energy upgrades is because it’s difficult to know how these investments are going to pay off. Case studies provide real data about real property owners who have successfully upgraded and have the data to show that it is a good investment. This information helps others understand what to expect and see the path so they can make their own homes and buildings more energy efficient.


A Home Energy Rating is a measurement of a home‘s energy efficiency. The lower the number, the lower your energy costs!

 The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index is the industry standard by which a home’s energy efficiency is measured. It‘s also the nationally recognized system for inspecting and calculating a home’s energy performance. The lower the number, the lower your energy costs!

What do the HERS Index Scores mean?

The RESNET HERS Index is the industry standard by which a home’s energy efficiency is measured. The HERS or Home Energy Rating System was developed by RESNET and is the nationally recognized system for inspecting and calculating a home’s energy performance. Certified RESNET Home Energy Raters conduct inspections to verify a home’s energy performance and determine what improvements can be made to increase it.

The 2016 Green Market and Mortgage Industry Update

As the future unfolds 2016 will be known as the year of bewilderment for many Americans and global market participants.  The 2016 election will go down in our history as one of the most polarized campaigns seen in decades. No … Read More

What’s a Planet Worth?

Republished for 2017 How does one quantify the value of Earth?  In essence, we already do – we call it economic systems and development.  According to Wikipedia, the definition of an economic system is a system of production and exchange … Read More

The Tiny – Not So Big, Home Movement, Trending or Fad?

Will the Lending Community Support This Emerging Market?   As real estate markets transcend with new advanced technology and mandated building code adoption, two demographic markets could drive major shifts in real estate for smaller square footage homes.      … Read More

Better than Code Homes: Translating & Quantifying Appraisal Value

As building science and technology continue to evolve, scale and become more affordable, innovative builders are finding ways to meet and exceed mandated energy building code requirements. However, builders are finding that projects built better than code can pose new … Read More

How to Take Advantage of Green Energy Money’s Toolbox for Home Retrofits

Green Energy Money’s Free Report for existing home retrofits is a great free tool available to homeowners that help them determine estimated building upgrade improvement costs and the potential return on investment upfront.  You can even get pre-qualified for financing before scheduling any … Read More

Choosing Right Green-High-Performance Builder for Your Project or Community

So you have found the perfect parcel of land; or have an existing home that needs updating, but how do you choose a builder that is reputable, competent and skilled in the art of high-energy performance or green building? Some … Read More

Choosing the Right Land for Green Building

One of the most important components of green building is the land you choose to build your project.  There are multitudes of factors that must be considered when choosing the perfect parcel of earth to develop.  Making the wrong choice … Read More


      Not so long ago, maybe a half a century to be fair, manufactured built homes or mobile homes were popular due to their affordable, expedited distribution and assembly aspects. Building in factories allowed lower income families and … Read More

The Importance Achieving Energy & Financial Interdependence in America

Independence Day – New Meaning for Sustainability America’s fight for independence and freedom from oppression has long been our greatest legacy.   In order to continue our heritage, we should also consider sustainability as a critical path to achieving our … Read More

What’s So Smart about the Smart Grid?

Once upon a time we hunted and gathered our food; we made our fire from rubbing two sticks together; and we pretty much relied on the sun, rain and nature to provide all that we needed to sustain life.  Fast … Read More