Measure Promotes Energy Efficiency in Homes
WASHINGTON - A bipartisan energy bill reintroduced in the U.S. Senate today includes a bill authored by Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet designed to promote energy efficiency in homes.
The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness (ESIC) Act, reintroduced by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and co-sponsored by Bennet, includes the Sensible Accounting to Value Energy (SAVE) Act.
"The SAVE Act is a commonsense approach to reduce energy usage, cut consumer costs, and protect our planet," Bennet said. "Home builders are embracing energy efficient technologies, and the SAVE Act will ensure mortgage lenders take those future savings into account. It will help homeowners save thousands of dollars and create thousands of jobs along the way."
The SAVE Act, which Bennet first introduced with Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) in 2013, establishes more practical mortgage lending processes that allow lenders to consider a home's energy efficiency and expected monthly energy bills when determining the homeowner's ability to afford monthly mortgage payments. The typical homeowner spends 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, in many cases, 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 jobs in the process.
The ESIC Act contains key energy efficiency policy reforms that will strengthen the economy and reduce pollution. The bill uses a variety of low-cost tools to help energy users become more efficient while making the country's largest energy user - the federal government - reduce its energy use through the use of energy-efficient technology. The bill incentivizes the use of efficiency technologies that are commercially available today, can be widely deployed across the country, and quickly pay for themselves through energy savings. The bill will help the United States transition to a more energy-efficient economy while driving economic growth and private sector job creation.