Energy Star Cuts Among Trump’s Proposals

President Trump has released a proposed budget that includes cuts to a number of programs run by the Environmental Protection Agency – including the popular Energy Star certification program for new and remodeled homes and many home appliances.

The administration’s budget proposal is the first step in what is expected to be a long process later this spring and summer as Congress wrestles with a number of competing priorities – its own and the president’s – to finalize the fiscal 2018 budget.

NAHB will be involved in the process every step of the way to advocate for cost-effective budget changes that best serve our members and their home buyers.

The voluntary Energy Star program has become a household name since it was launched in 1992. It now includes 70 product categories from air conditioners to refrigerators and counts 18,000 private and public sector organizations – including many home building companies  – among its partners.

The Energy Star home certification program helps builders market and promote their energy-efficient homes and is now being used to improve the accuracy of home appraisals.

Even as Congress is in the midst of preparing its own budget, NAHB continues to meet with members and their staff to talk about the programs and services the agency provides and why it’s important to keep – or not to keep – the programs that most affect the home building industry.

As these talks continue, NAHB needs to hear from our members to get their opinions. Please contact NAHB Legislative Director Billie Kaumaya and let her know what’s most important to you.

 

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  1. Energy Star is a valuable label and rating system for individual appliances, light bulbs, and other individual components of a home. As a home rating system, it has been obsolete for a long time, and has already been dropped by most high-performance builders. I personally gave up on energy Star for Homes about 15 years ago, because it simply had not kept up with technology.

    Move the whole Energy Star program over to the Department of Energy, and there won’t be much left worth keeping in the EPA.

  2. Kim Shanahan says:

    Energy Star for Homes, as Ted notes, has lost its way, but it could find its way back to relevancy for home builders with a few minor tweaks. On the other hand, Energy Star labeling on other products are often baked into the criteria of many assessment tools, including our own NGBS. It has also had tremendous value for consumers who want simple metrics when out shopping for energy efficient products. That little black arrow has done wonders for improving energy and water efficiency in America. NAHB should fight for its survival, if not at EPA then certainly at DOE. Sam Rashkin can take it back and make it work even better.

  3. Privatize Energy Star and In Door Air Plus through NAHB!
    Have NAHB have the Federal Government sell the programs to NAHB for $1.00!
    Let’s take control over these two programs,. Update them. Market and administrate them!
    ONwards and UPwards!

  4. Dan Tingen says:

    Our industry should welcome an opportunity dismantle any government sponsored program like Energy Star, such programs generally start out as well-meaning but once in the hands of government will soon lost their focus . Energy Star definitely lost its focus, remember; the operative word here was “Energy” not sustainable lumber, water, etc. We don’t need government bureaucracies to manage our marketing; I agree with Robert, we should privatize the program and let market forces work. If consumers are willing to pay for “Green” features, we’ll design and build them.

    • kim shanahan says:

      Dan I don’t disagree that E-Star for homes should have stuck to energy and should have maintained a fixed code base-line that didn’t change with time. That is what RESNET and the HERS rating did. It’s a non-profit run like a private-sector business and has effectively supplanted E-Star for home in the free-market. The label on appliances and such? That should remain and be in DOE.

    • Dan, Robert… do your children go to public schools? How about the road and bridge you drive over daily. Private? I get your conservative leanings, and that Federal Government, in the words of Reagan, is often “the problem”. EPA’s Energy Star program is NOT one of them. The ROI for home owners has been proven time and again.

      NAHB already spun off NAHB Research Labs partially due to appearances of a conflict of interest. You’ll recall USGBC rubbing this in our faces back in the day. Today, Home Innovation Labs, as a separate entity, is kicking ass.

      As well, todays more energy-educated consumers will see NAHB running its own energy efficiency program as the fox watching the hen house.

      Finally, conservative and relatively deregulated Texas certifies more Energy Star homes than any other in the U.S. Do you think they’re doing this because it’s not working??

      Leave Energy Star alone. It is working.

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