There is a growing interest in eco-friendly living and sustainable homes nationwide. Many households are searching for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Investing in a sustainable home can reduce your impact without altering your daily lifestyle. For this reason, green architecture is at the forefront of developer conversations. It’s something our clients ask us about regularly. What are the features of sustainable homes? Are there many green homes available in Madison? We’ll break it all down for you.

Sustainable Home Features and Design Principles

  1. Energy-efficient design

One of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to design your home to use as few energy resources as possible. Quality insulation and insulated windows can make a big impact (AND it will reduce your monthly utility bill!). You can also opt for eco-conscious HVAC systems and appliances. Many of these products are made from recycled, non-toxic materials. They’re designed to expend the minimum about of energy needed to perform their function. 

  1. Renewable energy sources

Energy sources like geothermal systems and solar panels are exciting. But unfortunately, Madison residents have very little control over where their power is sourced. The only exception is owners of substantial acreage with space for a solar farm. Historically, Madison has received its electricity from fossil fuels. But in 2015 Madison Gas and Electric introduced a plan to transition to renewable energy sources by 2030 using solar and wind power. You can learn more about this exciting initiative here.

  1. Water conservation

Low-flow showerheads, sinks with auto-shutoff mechanisms, and water-saving toilets can all help you reduce your water usage. Rainwater harvesting systems can be installed for your gardening and landscaping. 

  1.  Use of eco-friendly materials 

A major component of green design is the use of sustainable, non-toxic materials during construction and interior design. The most commonly recognized sustainable building materials are stone, cob, bamboo, and adobe. But many innovations are on the rise. Mycologists have found that mycelium can be stronger than concrete! It can be used as a building material or even fashioned into a fabric that’s indistinguishable from leather. 

Sustainable Neighborhoods and Communities in Madison, WI*


Located on the west side of Madison, Greentree is a neighborhood known for its focus on energy efficiency, green building practices, and sustainable living options. They have a thriving neighborhood association that hosts regular events including holiday celebrations, a garden tour, and an Earth Day clean-up challenge. 

Middleton Hills

Situated outside of Madison in the city of Middleton, Middleton Hills is a breath of fresh air. Founder Marshall Erdman wanted residents to have a strong sense of community that has been lost over decades of urban sprawl. This neighborhood was meticulously master-planned with walkability and preservation in mind. Existing hills, trees, lakes, and wetlands are preserved and accessible for community recreation. Parks and greenspace are abundant. It incorporates mixed-use development and sustainable design principles. Small shops and businesses are included in the neighborhood and accessible by walking paths. 

University Heights

Located near the UW Campus, University Heights is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city. But that doesn’t mean that it’s behind the times. The vibrant neighborhood has a strong focus on walkability, bike-friendly infrastructure, and community engagement in sustainability initiatives. 


Westmorland is a well-established neighborhood in Madison. They have the fourth oldest neighborhood association in the city. The community is tight-knit and focused on strengthening its community through events, activities, and health initiatives. Eco-conscious lawn care and community gardens are frequent topics of conversation in the community. 

Schenk-Atwood-Starkweather-Yahara (SASY)

This previously blue-collar district has been reclaimed by Madison’s creatives. Bordered by blueways and greenways on all sides, this district is walkable and colorful. The diverse yet cohesive neighborhood has a noticeably charitable spirit and grants its residents a high quality of life. Community gardens, sustainability projects, and local food co-ops make this an ideal neighborhood for anyone who prioritizes eco and social initiatives. 

* It’s worth noting that sustainable practices can be found throughout the city, and many other neighborhoods in Madison also prioritize eco-friendly living and sustainability.

All the sustainability incentives available in Madison, WI

The cost of creating an energy-efficient home doesn’t rest entirely on your shoulders. There are several incentive programs available to Madison residents.

The Energy-Saving Pack:

Madison Gas and Electric will send you a free energy-saving package that will be delivered right to your home. Each pack contains products such as  ENERGY STAR® LED light bulbs, high-efficiency showerheads, water-saving faucet aerators, and more. Sign up here. 

The Smart Thermostat Incentive

Madison Gas and Electric will give you $50 when you purchase a smart thermostat. Click here to learn about qualifying models.  

The Home Energy Assessment

Curious about where your home ranks on efficiency? You can receive a free home energy assessment. After the assessment, you’ll receive a customized energy report with recommendations specific to your home.

The Toilet Rebate

Madison Water Utility is offering bill credits of $100 for customers who replace high-using toilets with an EPA WaterSense-rated High-Efficiency Toilet. The program is limited to one rebate per household, but commercial building owners can receive up to 20 rebates. Click here to learn more. 

Federal Tax Credits 

Federal tax credits may be available for households who install ENERGY STAR® certified equipment in their home. Learn more on the U.S. Department of Energy website. 

Sustainable Homes for Sale in Madison, WI

Feeling inspired to reduce your carbon footprint? Click here to start searching for sustainable homes. But be advised- “sustainable” or “green” is not a common filter in home search software. Get in contact with us to deep dive into the options available in Madison today.