The Mortgage and Building industries are moving in the right direction. Legislation introduced would support energy efficiency which benefits not only the environment, but the home owner too.
“The Sensible Accounting to Value Energy (SAVE) Act, S. 1106, was introduced by Senators Bennet (D-Colo.) and Isakson (R-Ga.) on June 6, 2013. This legislation would improve the accuracy of mortgage underwriting used by federal mortgage agencies by including energy efficiency as a factor in determining the value and affordability of a home. S. 1106 was referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
Home energy costs can make up a significant portion of a household budget; in many cases, utility bills are larger than both property taxes and homeowners insurance. However, household energy costs can vary substantially, depending on energy efficiency measures and other characteristics, making a home’s efficiency level a key component in determining its value. Current appraisals do not account for energy efficiency when calculating the affordability and value of a home. The SAVE Act, which offers a voluntary energy efficiency evaluation as part of the mortgage underwriting process, would help consumers and lenders better evaluate the true value of residences.
S. 1106 would also instruct lenders to inform loan applicants about the costs and benefits of energy efficiency, and to provide them with information about resources and financing options available for energy efficiency upgrades.”