During the "Helping Appraisals Recognize the VALUE of Energy Efficiency" webinar, we had more questions than we had time. Our presenters Clayton Traylor (Leading Builders of America) and Bill Fay (Building Energy Efficient Codes Network) provided the following answers to those we didn't discuss. Feel free to ask more & we will look to them for additional insight.
Q: Can you please clarify, will the SAVE Act require that energy expenses be included in the underwriting of EVERY mortgage, or only for those people wanting an energy efficient house?
Bill/Clayton: The proposal requires the underwriter to use either an average energy cost assumption drawn from a DOE database or, when a HERS Report is submitted by a buyer, that becomes the basis for determining energy cost.
Q: Are you suggesting that every homebuyer wanting a mortgage will have to qualify with these higher monthly expenses?
Bill/Clayton: No, only those who believe their homes are more energy efficient than the average cost assumption.
Q: But if you want an Energy Efficient Mortgage, you have to pay for a HERS test?
Q: Which of your Websites can I go to get this info in a more detailed form?
Bill/Clayton: Try www.IMT.org
Q: What is the baseline energy cost when determining that a certain house saves energy?
Bill/Clayton: The legislation references the residential energy consumption survey published by the DOE.
Q: Do realtors give a reason for not recognizing labeling?
Bill/Clayton: They don't want to disadvantage older, less efficient homes.
Q: Is there one rating system better than another - HERS; LEED; ENERGY STAR, NAHB, ETC.?
Bill/Clayton: Strictly speaking, we don't care which of these systems are used, but whichever is utilized, it must be recognized by HUD as a rating system that can accurately predict annual energy costs.
Q: What are the names of these bills?
Bill/Clayton: The SAVE Act has not yet been introduced, so we don't have a number yet. However, it will be introduced by Senator Mike Bennet (D-CO) so check back with them following the Labor Day break.
(note: The documents Bill and Clayton referenced in the webinar regarding NREL energy efficiency studies from Greensburg, KS are available with the on-demand webinar in the auditorium)