Identifying a truly 'green' rental

Rent it Right

Q: I’ve been looking at a brand-new apartment complex that advertises itself as a "green community." When I asked the leasing agent about what that meant, she could only point to the recycling bins and the use of high-efficient outdoor lighting. This seemed pretty paltry to me. Are there standards that an owner must meet before being able to claim "green" status for a building? –Max M.

A: In the past, it was on-site laundry facilities, then cable TV access, then Wi-Fi. Now, it seems that "green" is the newest amenity that apartment owners hope will set them apart from the competition. But unlike those earlier upgrades (either there was a laundry room or there wasn’t), being "green," or energy efficient, isn’t so easy to measure in a residential building.