Washington, D.C. – 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, legislation Bennet first introduced in 2013.
"The SAVE Act is a commonsense approach to reduce energy usage, cut consumer costs, and address climate change," said Bennet. "Home builders are embracing energy efficient technologies, and the SAVE Act will ensure mortgage lenders take those future savings into account. This bill will help homeowners save thousands of dollars and will create thousands of jobs along the way. Including the SAVE Act in the broader legislation will help push it across the finish line.”
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, adding 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 Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act contains key energy efficiency policy reforms that will strengthen the economy and reduce pollution. This bipartisan bill uses a variety of low-cost tools to make it easier for private sector energy users to become more efficient while also making the country’s largest energy user – the federal government – more efficient. 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 speed the transition to a more energy efficient economy, increasing both our economic competitiveness and our energy security for the coming decades, while driving economic growth and encouraging private sector job creation.