Congress Could Allow Mortgage Lenders to Reward Home Energy Efficiency

In many ways, maintaining an energy efficient household is its own reward. By using less energy in your home, you produce fewer greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change, and you save money on your heat and air conditioning bills at the same time. Legislation that is currently pending before Congress would make energy conservation even more rewarding by allowing federal mortgage lenders to take efficiency measures into account when calculating home values and affordability. Read on to learn more about the SAVE Act and what it could mean for you.

Finance Your Home of the Future

The SAVE Act has been considered by Congress over the last several sessions but has never yet been brought to a vote. Essentially, the measure would make it easier for homeowners to finance efficiency upgrades, and would also give home buyers increased flexibility with their mortgage when purchasing a home that includes green or energy efficient features.

Mortgage valuations currently take into account factors like real estate taxes and homeowners insurance, but ignore efficiency even though utility bills typically take a bigger bite out of the family budget than taxes and insurance. Since heat and air conditioning bills account for about half of all energy use by the average family, features like efficient furnaces and AC units and heavy-duty insulation can make a huge difference in the monthly ledger.

Big Savings in Your Heat and Air Conditioning Bills

The measure promises a number of benefits in addition to making financing easier to come by for efficient houses. For one thing, sponsors expect that the bill would create jobs by stimulating the market for modern heat and air conditioning systems. Homeowners who took advantage of the more flexible mortgage rules to increase the efficiency of their homes would also expect to come out ahead over time thanks to lower utility bills.

A wide-ranging coalition has come together to support the SAVE Act, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Alliance to Save Energy, the National Resources Defense Council, the U.S. Green Building Council and many more.

“This bill would require federal mortgage agencies to recognize the energy efficiency upgrades in a home during the mortgage underwriting process, thereby increasing the value of the home,” explains Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy, in a statement.

Improve Your Energy Efficiency Today

As the nation lurches toward a more energy-efficient future, the SAVE Act could be one more tool in the belt to help homeowners cut down on their energy consumption and keep a little more money in their pockets. If you need help ramping up the efficiency of your heat and air conditioning system, reach out to an HVAC expert today.

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