Green homes have not yet gone mainstream, and most of the ones that have been built so far are upscale dwellings. However, in Frederick, Md., the energy efficient townhomes in the North Pointe neighborhood will feature solar panels, geothermal heating, and a computer system to manage energy use; and they will be priced from the mid-$200,000s. With 20 solar panels mainly on the roof, the units will produce energy during the day when residents are at work; and this energy will be consumed in the evening, meaning that they are net-zero units and consume only as much energy as they create. However, experts say the energy savings are only estimates and could be off by 10 to 20 percent. The computer system included in the homes will allow occupants to track energy usage and turn off lights, sprinklers, and other items from remote locations. Buyers also can apply for state and federal tax credits to offset the cost of the solar and geothermal systems. | Read More