NAHB Opposes Portman-Shaheen Energy Bill

Filed in Advocacy, Codes and Standards by on July 17, 2019 17 Comments

thumbs downSens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) today introduced the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, legislation opposed by NAHB because it would mandate overly costly and aggressive energy efficiency requirements in model building energy codes, which harms housing affordability.

Moreover, the Senate bill would discourage states from amending codes to meet their specific needs and could encourage the Department of Energy (DOE) to move beyond its current role as a “technical advisor” and push overly prescriptive and costly energy targets.

At the same time, NAHB is supporting bipartisan legislation introduced in the House by Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) and Bill Flores (R-Texas) that offers a more cost-effective way to encourage energy efficiency. The Energy Savings and Building Efficiency Act would accelerate cost-savings for home owners by requiring that any code or proposal supported by the Department of Energy has a payback of 10 years or less.

The House bill also stipulates that regarding the development of energy codes, DOE would be prohibited from advocating for certain technologies, building materials or construction practices.

NAHB continues to work with Congress to advance cost-effective ways for the federal government to incentivize home owners to upgrade their homes to be more energy efficient.


Comments (17)

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  1. TP says:

    “DOE would be prohibited from advocating for certain technologies, building materials or construction practices” needs to be removed from the legislation.
    It is research from different areas such as DOE that brings new technology to the masses. I would want the DOE, in this circumstance to go through the trial and error to bring the new technology and materials to light.

    • Joel Tucker says:

      Sorry to say but that will NOT happen. When the Federal Government gets involved in local matters it only results in less options for people. thereby taking away normal liberties and freedoms that we all have. The DOE has no business in being able to control or mandate the use of new technologies into the Home building process. This will only hurt the average family trying to find an affordable house.

  2. Armando Cobo says:

    So if NAHB is supporting a bill that requires ANY CODE change that has a payback of 10 years or less, the NAHB should the leading force behind DOE’s Zero Energy Ready Home Program that has cost increases between 1-3% with paybacks much lower than 10 years. NO EXCUSES!

    • Joel Tucker says:

      You need to read the reference materials you are sighting. The actual cost increase, on average is almost 7 1/2%. with the Average home cost in the listed major areas that is a cost increase to the home buyer of over $23,000.00 dollars. The federal government does not need to be allowed to Mandate technologies into the cost of home building beyond the normal local building code process.
      The DOE’s involvement will only reduce the affordability to those people seeking home ownership.
      It is better to allow the technology to progress into an affordable market trend in lieu of having Government mandate it.

  3. The affordability problem is caused because builders and designers are not using cost vs energy optimization in the specification of materials and construction assemblies. Using optimization, one can identify bundles of standard building components that cost 3% less and reduce energy consumption by 40% for most homes. The opposition to the costs of increased performance is driven by poor decision making rather than actual cost constraints. @cove_tool

  4. David W Kopke says:

    Let builders build what they want – let homeowners decide for themselves – let the supply and demand process work – stop putting more costs into things under the name of savings – it doesn’t save to spend more on regulations and compliance.
    If homeowners want a more efficient home, the builder can offer that option. We don’t need the government to mandate anything.

    • You said it all – AMEN

    • Joel Tucker says:

      I totally agree with that. More Government control into peoples lives will not make life better, just more ways for the Government to mess it up.

      Let the consumer, home owners, decide what will work best for them and their budget. Let the builders be allowed to pursue the options and opportunities that will serve their clients.

  5. W Turner says:

    We need NAHB to get behind net zero ready for all builders.Stick built homes last 50 years or more, not 10. You do it once up front, not later when it is a prohibitive cost.

  6. Robert Riggs says:

    S. 2137 is not good for housing that should be affordable. S. 2137 is not an energy savings bill it is a Department of Energy power grab. Say no to S. 2137.

  7. Kent French says:

    If we ad up all the costs of gov. regulations that are not health and safety but just gov. over reach we may have more people living in houses and not on the street.

  8. Vicki Albert says:

    Let the free market remain free. Builders are already building more energy efficient and green homes in order to remain competitive. We don’t need more bureaucracy to muddy this up. How about the government pay more attention to the country’s infrastructure??? The local building codes have this under control. I hope our Senators do not vote, yes on this. I will vote for new Senators if they do.

  9. Neil Preister says:

    The free market in incapable of calculating the social cost of carbon into a home price. That can only be addressed with leadership and public policy.
    Whole life cost calculations and lifetime embodied energy are both reduced by energy efficiency measures. Short term timescales misrepresent the advantages of sustainable design.

    By denying the savings from energy efficiency to affordable housing residents you are depriving them of the best tool available to protect them from increased energy costs and shifting the social cost of carbon on to the general public.

    Since the market rewards the energy producer and the consumer is protected by shortsighted energy policy, in this case outdated energy codes, the social cost of carbon will shift onto the general public. Energy efficiency is the low hanging fruit to balances the scales. Increasing energy generation to offset inefficiency costs much more.

    This is not simply about housing costs. Climate change has not waited for public policy to adapt. We will all pay one way or another.

  10. Thank you NAHB. the state and local associations for making a stand! ONwards and UPwards with common sense!

  11. John Holahan says:

    I wish that competition and free market forces would lead builders to do the right thing, but it doesn’t. Unless required, many builders will not deliver homes that are as energy saving as they can and should be. We should be building homes that better the lives of our clients, through indoor air quality and energy saving to just name a couple.

    “When we Build, let us think that it is forever. Let it not be for present delight, nor present use alone……….”. John Ruskin

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