Urge Your Senators to Oppose Portman-Shaheen Energy Bill

Filed in Capitol Hill, Codes and Regulations by on September 24, 2019 7 Comments

house on scale

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday is expected to consider a bill that will push overly costly and aggressive energy efficiency requirements in model building energy codes, which harms housing affordability.

Please call or write your senators today and urge them to oppose S. 2137, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act. Sponsored by Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), this legislation would:

  • Exacerbate the nation’s housing affordability woes by making new homes prohibitively expensive;
  • Allow the Department of Energy to hijack the ICC’s consensus-based code development process; and
  • Discourage state and local governments from adopting cost-effective and location-appropriate building codes.This legislation would allow the Department of Energy (DOE) to hijack the ICC’s consensus-based code development process.

We need your help to defeat this unprecedented power grab by the federal government in the building code development arena. Click on the tab below and send an urgent message to your senators.

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Comments (7)

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  1. Darius Grimes says:

    What are the changes, too many times we see opposition to any changes based on the argument that they are too expensive and will make housing unafordable only to find out that they are reasonable in cost and reduce the long term investment for the Owner. Savings for the Owner should be the primary focus not savings for the builder.

    • Stephen Stump says:

      Yes I agree the owners choice. Not mandated by a code. And the owner shall and is willing to pay for the improvements to the home that will save them money overtime.

    • I also agree, this is just another way to cut programs. Please read the bill.

      Sec. 101 (first page)
      The term ‘model building energy code’ means a voluntary building energy coded … updated by interested persons, such as the code or standard developed by-

      It does not “hijack” by no means does it “hijack”. It does get rid of programs and cut education if it gets voted down.

  2. Armando Cobo says:

    “Exacerbate the nation’s housing affordability woes by making new homes prohibitively expensive”

    A ZERH additional cost is between 1%-3% (see RMI Report https://rmi.org/insight/economics-of-zero-energy-homes/). Please state the facts!

    • William Fay says:

      Very interesting RMI report, especially since NAHB survey found that 9 out of 10 buyers would pay 2-3% more for a home with permanent efficiency features. And on Earth Day this year, NAHBNow Earth Day reported that prospective and recent home buyers were “willing to pay an average of $8,728 more” for a home that would “save approximately $1,000 a year in utility bills.”
      They recognize the issue of housing affordability must include the highest and least predictable cost of maintaining a home . . . energy bills.

  3. Stephen Stump says:

    I do oppose these new increases in model energy codes, as I have many of the past ( on energy and building codes, especially fire codes), on the grounds of affordability and freedom of choice by the owners /buyers. NAHB didn’t seem to be bothered by the past ones but are now because of the department of energy taking away the consensus of the ICC code? How is there any kind of “consensus” in the ICC codes if builders do not get a vote on them but only some “professionals” and “building officials” ( same with NFPA )?

    • Armando Cobo says:

      Many NAHB employees and members ARE members of several ICC committees, specially the Energy Committee. In fact, many proposals do not get approved because of those same members.

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