Bipartisan Codes Bill Promotes Affordability, Energy Savings

Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), Bill Flores (R- Texas), Tom O’Halleran (D-Ariz.), Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and Lou Correa (D-Calif. today introduced NAHB-supported bipartisan legislation that would foster the development of energy efficiency baselines for buildings while ensuring that home builders and home owners are not burdened by unreasonable regulations.

H.R. 3586, the Energy Savings and Building Efficiency Act, is similar to legislation the lawmakers introduced in the previous Congress. The measure would help promote savings in commercial buildings and homes through the use of more cost-effective energy codes.

Of note to the housing community, the bill would require that any code or proposal supported by the Department of Energy has a payback of 10 years or less.

By assuring a reasonable payback period of 10 years or less, the bill would allow home owners to invest in energy-efficient windows, lighting and other features that will significantly reduce their utility bills.

The measure also stipulates that the Department of Energy would serve as a technical advisor in the development of energy codes and prohibit the agency from advocating for certain technologies, building materials or construction practices.

This would help code officials make more informed decisions and result in cost-effective code change proposals because it would curtail the influence of outside groups that seek to advance energy code proposals with little regard to the costs for home owners and home builders.

Specifically, the bill would ensure that all Department of Energy code change proposals are:

  • Made available to the public, including calculations on costs and savings;
  • Subject to the official rulemaking process, allowing for public comment; and
  • Taking into account small business concerns.

NAHB will work with lawmakers to advance the bill in the House and seek the introduction of companion legislation in the Senate.

For more information, contact Mallika Vastare at 800-368-5242 x8570.

 

 

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  1. Ron Hughes says:

    Builders have complained about appraisers not valuing the added cost of building more energy efficiency homes for the 30 years off and on I have been a member of the HBA. That will never change until ALL new homes are energy rated and appraisers have comps. theNAHB has been the barrier tpo that by insisting it has to be voluntary (which means you don’t have to which means most builders won’t). Now is a GREAT time for the NAHB to partner with RESNET who has opened up a data base of over two million rated homes that appraisers can now use for comps.
    Consumers would benefit most from annual energy costs posted on the front door like MPG on cars. “I can’t pay my light bill” is the second biggest reasons for mortgage defaults. Shouldn’t the buyer know what the light bills will be before they commit to buy a home they may not be able to afford to live in?Or is the Builder like the Realtors in my town who blocked energy rating all new homes because they did not want the annual energy costs disclosed because a potential buyer might not buy it! In other words, does the NAHB concure and favor keeping buyers ignorant of the operating costs?

    • NAHB Now says:

      Ron,
      NAHB supports the SAVE Act, which provides a mechanism by which homes can be properly appraised for energy efficiency. NAHB’a legislative team is actively working on the introduction of this legislation. You can contact Mallika Vastare to get more information on the SAVE Act and our steps to advocate for this bill.

  2. Barbara Byrd says:

    This is great news for builders. Thus far, it has been difficult to realize the savings versus the cost. Please let me know if Nebraska can be of any help on this bill.

  3. Randy Strauss says:

    This is a great effort on the part of the legislature. I hope it’s successful. Now, if we can get the ICC to do something similar. All code changes should be required to go through a thorough cost vs benefit analysis, with the benefit always to the consumer, always!

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