Kennedy: Building green pays off

Kennedy: Building green pays off
SEATTLE -- Green is in, but can builders make any money in these bad times by going green? Yes, according to a famous Kennedy.

Robert Kennedy, Jr. attended the Built Green Conference at Seattle's Convention Center.

His father was a maverick politician. Kennedy, Jr. is now a maverick for the environment, preaching the green gospel.

"Right now, we have a marketplace that is rigged to reward the most filthiest producers, the expensive, 'poisoniest' and destructive fuels from hell, rather than the clean green cheap fuels from heaven," said Kennedy.

At the conference, Kennedy targeted builders who want to make money and be eco-friendly at the same time. Kenney argued both can be done, and tax breaks help.

"The only reason why we need our tax breaks is because our competitors - the carbon cronies, coal, oil and nuke - get huge, huge vast tax breaks that amount to a trillion dollars a year," he said.

Some 1,300 designated green homes were built in Seattle last year. Many may not have been built if not for tax breaks and rebates on fluorescent bulbs, solar panels, low-flow shower heads and toilets, just to name a few.

Kennedy is also promoting the idea of a free electric car for home buyers who agree to pay higher home electric bills over several years. The extra funds would go to a company that owns the most expensive part of an electric car -- the battery.

And instead of charging the car overnight, the owner would go to the company's charging station where, in two minutes, a machine replaces the car's dead battery with a fully charged one.

"It changes the whole economics. That suddenly makes battery cars viable," said Kennedy.

Kennedy sits on the board of directors of a company that is currently building a system of charging stations and battery replacement stations across Israel.

Convention organizers said built-green homes are selling, on average, 24 percent faster than non-certified homes.