ENERGY STAR Homes Presented NJHMFA with the "Outstanding Trade Ally" Award As part of New Jersey's Clean Energy Program. New Jersey ENERGY STAR Homes and Home Performance with ENERGY STAR introduced an awards and recognition program for industry leaders. Besides recognizing Builders and Contractors, the awards program also sought to recognize participating trade allies for their contribution and support of the ENERGY STAR Programs. On September 9, 2008 NJ Board of Public Utilities Commissioner Nicholas Asselta presented the NJ ENERGY STAR Homes "Outstanding Trade Ally" Award to Marge DellaVecchia, Executive Director of NJHMFA, with Mary Sheehy and Gabe Nathanson of the NJ Green Homes Office at the NJHMFA. Winners of the "Outstanding Trade Ally" category were recognized for outstanding efforts in the promotion of ENERGY STAR Labeled Homes, and support of the program's recruitment efforts. The Agency was selected in part for their on-going support and promotion of energy efficient, green and sustainable housing, the NJ ENERGY STAR Homes program, as well as, the Agency's continued willingness to include the program when developing/updating NJHMFA rules and protocol. ENERGY STAR Certification has been a threshold requirement in the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program since 2003. In 2006 and 2007, this resulted in 38 development projects and a total of 2,555 energy efficient affordable units. Green affordable housing directly benefits individual and families by lowering utility costs and creating healthier living environments. To that end, NJHMFA is placing a high priority on financing developments that bring about efficient, safe, healthy, prosperous and livable communities, while simultaneously maintaining and enhancing the environment.