NAHB Sounds Off On Energy-Efficiency Bill

tional Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has released a statement concerning the House of Representatives' recent passing of H.R.2998, legislation that requires new homes to be built 30% more energy efficiently than mandated in the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code. Under H.R.2998, that number increases to 50% by 2014 and then increases 5% every three years. The NAHB says the bill's requirements are ‘simply too far, too fast.’ ‘The hard truth is that we can't build our way out of this problem,’ said NAHB Chair Joe Robson in the statement. "We need to make sure our utilities more efficiently generate and transmit power. We need to make our existing housing stock more energy efficient. We need to reduce our "plug load' – home appliances, televisions and computers – and make these products more energy efficient. This bill's focus on new home construction won't get us very far at all." With a market that is not prepared to supply the necessary materials and equipment, costs will be driven upward, Robson stated. "The result will be fewer working-class families in these new energy-efficient homes," he said. "They'll be relegated to older, less-efficient housing stock and face ever-higher utility bills." According to the U.S. Department of Energy, homes are responsible for about 21 percent of the energy consumed each year. "Forcing more regulation on a fraction of those homes just won't move the needle," Robson said. The NAHB says a more reasonable goal is a 30% efficiency increase by 2012 – a resolution that the trade group's board of directors unanimously passed. "We are at a particularly fragile point in our economic recovery, and saddling home buyers with additional costs makes it even more difficult to get a mortgage when credit is already tight," Robson added. SOURCE: National Association of Home B


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