Bipartisan House Bill Promotes Cost-Effective Energy Savings

Filed in Advocacy, Codes and Standards by on May 5, 2017 2 Comments

insulationReps. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) on May 4 introduced bipartisan legislation to encourage energy efficiency in buildings while ensuring that home builders and home owners are not burdened by unreasonable regulations.

H.R. 2361 is similar to legislation the lawmakers introduced in the 113th and 114th Congress to promote more transparency and encourage cost-effectiveness when developing residential energy codes. It requires that any code or proposal supported by the Department of Energy (DOE) has a simple payback of 10 years or less.

“By assuring a reasonable payback period, the bill would ensure that the most practical energy-saving features such as high-efficiency windows and lighting would be included in new homes and result in lower mortgage and utility bills for home owners,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald.

H.R. 2361 also stipulates that DOE 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, MacDonald said.

H.R. 2361 is designed to ensure that any DOE-supported proposals are:

  • Made available to the public, including all costs and savings calculations
  • Allow an opportunity for public comment
  • Take into account small business concerns

NAHB will work with lawmakers to advance the bill in the House. For additional information, contact Billie Kaumaya at 202-266-8570.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Brett Little says:

    What are you using to model payback? Besides a 10 year ROI (which is great) what is it doing to encourage EE?

    • NAHB Now says:

      Thanks for asking. The methodology uses a simple payback, which would consider increased construction costs and utility savings over 10 years. The purpose of this bill is to ensure that energy codes are developed in fair and transparent manner, technology-neutral and cost-effective. This will result in a stronger energy code that helps improve the efficiency of homes, while also maintaining housing affordability.

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