The National Association of Home Builders is working with lawmakers to pass legislation supporting new energy-efficiency standards in commercial and residential buildings.
The bill, formally titled the Energy Savings and Building Efficiency Act, was introduced to Congress by Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Kurt Schrader ( D-Ore.). Officials say the law would help promote savings in commercial buildings and homes through the use of more cost-effective energy codes. It would also require that any code or proposal supported by the Department of Energy have a payback time 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.
The measure also requires that the Department of Energy would serve as a technical adviser 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, Woods added.
Builder Ed Zorb, president of Knoxville, Tenn.-based Zorb Homes, said the bill’s passage would be good for his customers.
“Our clients are interested in energy efficiency, but they deserve to know exactly what they are paying for,” Zorb said. “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.”