Bipartisan Bill Helps Homeowners Reap Benefits of Energy-Efficient Homes
Senate Energy Committee Holds Hearing on Energy Efficiency Bills, Including SAVE Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 1, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Following a hearing on energy efficiency bills in the Senate’s energy committee, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet is renewing his call for the Senate to pass the bipartisan SAVE Act.
Bennet first introduced the Sensible Accounting to Value Energy (SAVE) Act in 2013 with Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA). The bill is a key component of the bipartisan Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness (ESIC) Act introduced by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). Bennet is a cosponsor of that measure as well.
“Energy costs are among the highest costs that come with purchasing a house. With an increasing number of ways to save energy in and around our homes, it makes sense for our mortgages to reflect the savings that these new technologies bring,” Bennet said. “There’s no reason mortgage lenders shouldn’t take into account the thousands of dollars homeowners spend annually on their energy bills when determining the size of a home loan. Our simple fix will solve this problem and offer incentives for the construction of energy efficient homes, creating thousands of jobs along the way. The Senate should quickly pass this commonsense bill.”
The SAVE Act would help establish commonsense mortgage lending processes by allowing federal mortgage loan agencies to consider a home’s energy efficiency and expected monthly energy bills when determining the homeowner’s ability to pay monthly mortgage payments. On average, homeowners spend about $2,500 a year on home energy costs, and that adds up to more than $70,000 over the life of a 30-year mortgage. But, while mortgage lenders typically take into account the cost of real estate taxes and homeowner’s insurance when determining the cost of a home loan, they do not take into account home energy costs, even though these costs are often more than taxes and insurance. The SAVE Act would address this blind spot, encouraging investments in energy efficient homebuilding and creating tens of thousands of construction jobs in the process.