There are efforts underway to incorporate costly energy building code provisions from S. 2137, The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, into the comprehensive energy bill introduced by Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski and Ranking Member Joe Manchin.
This amendment, sponsored by Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) would expand the role of the Department of Energy in the code development process by requiring it to establish energy-savings targets, which denies the code consensus bodies freedom in decision-making.
This represents an unprecedented power grab by the federal government in the building code development arena.
These aggressive energy efficiency requirements would also drive up the cost of housing without proportional savings in energy costs. This comes at a time when housing affordability is near a 10-year low and just six in 10 households can afford a median-priced home.
Congress must consider the true economic costs of energy-use reductions and establish a practical payback period for these investments. Otherwise, fewer families will achieve the dream of owning a home of their own.
Please call or write your U.S. senators and urge them to oppose energy building codes in the comprehensive energy bill.