Home building energy savings that makes sense in Waterloo & Cedar Falls

Bipartisan Codes Bill  Promotes Common sense Energy Savings in Cedar Falls & Waterloo

March 5, 2015 – Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) yesterday introduced bipartisan legislation that would foster the development of energy efficiency baselines for buildings while ensuring home builders and home owners are not burdened by unreasonable regulations.

The Energy Savings and Building Efficiency Act is similar to legislation the lawmakers introduced in the previous Congress. The measure would help promote savings in commercial buildings and homes through the use of more cost-effective energy codes.

Of note to the housing community, the bill would require that any code or proposal supported by the Department of Energy have a 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 a reduced combined mortgage and utility bill for home owners,” said NAHB Chairman Tom Woods, a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo.

The measure also stipulates that the Department of Energy 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, according to Woods.

Specifically, the bill would ensure that all Department of Energy code change proposals are:

  • Made available to the public, including calculations on costs and savings;
  • Subject to the official rulemaking process, allowing for public comment; and
  • Taking into account small business concerns.

“Our clients are interested in energy efficiency, but they deserve to know exactly what they are paying for,” said Ed Zorb, president of Zorb Homes based in Knoxville,Tenn. “No one should be forced to use expensive materials that they cannot afford. This bill will ensure that the department of energy is working on behalf of the home buyer and curtail the influence of outside groups that seek to advance energy code proposals with little regard to the costs for home owners and home builders.”

NAHB will work with lawmakers to advance the bill in the House and seek the introduction of companion legislation in the Senate.
View source: http://www.nahb.org/news_details.aspx?sectionid=122&newsid=17156