Yesterday Sens. Bennet (D-CO) and Isakson (R-GA) re-introduced the “Sensible Accounting to Value Energy Act” (Save Act), S 1106. The objective of this legislation is to “encourage investments in energy efficient home building” and to do so through a mortgage lending process that recognizes and rewards those investments.
S. 1106 would require the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to develop and issue guidelines to federal mortgage agencies on calculating loans made on each residential property factoring in the energy costs and efficiency of that property. The objective is to provide the loan applicant with additional information as to the energy costs and the energy efficiency of that property. The legislation would also permit appraisers to have access to this information and to factor into their appraisal the energy and water improvements made to the property. For instance, the appraiser can take into account such things as “labels and ratings of building and installed appliances, blueprints, construction costs, incentives regarding energy and water-efficient components and systems installed in a property…”
The SAVE Act would provide consumers with additional and important information about the energy efficiency and the energy costs of purchasing a home. Thus consumers would be able to make more informed decisions. For example, if they have an idea of their yearly energy costs, it can help them to determine the true cost of home ownership. The result would be that the marketplace would be better able to reflect the value of homes that are more energy and water efficient.
A study by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and the Institute for Market Transformation estimates that if enacted this legislation would help to create 83,000 new jobs in the construction, renovation and manufacturing sectors.
Manufacturers are leading the way in energy efficiency technologies both on the shopfloor and in our homes. As manufacturers continue to support an “all of the above” energy strategy, energy efficiency continues to play an important role. Using our resources wisely makes for sound policy and helps our nation grow and compete in the global economy. A more competitive U.S. manufacturing sector means more jobs and a stronger and brighter future for the United States.
Chip Yost is assistant vice president of energy and resources policy, National Association of Manufacturers.
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