Cost Effective and Affordable Energy Codes and Standards

Energy and Green Building

Resolved that NAHB urge lawmakers, regulators and other policymakers to support only those energy codes, standards and legislation that are cost-effective and affordable.

Further resolved that NAHB define increases in energy efficiency provisions to be “affordable” only if principal, interest, taxes and insurance, plus utilities, will be no greater after the inclusion of the cost of the additional energy-efficiency features required by any new energy code or standard provision than before.

Further resolved that NAHB consider increases in energy efficiency provisions to be “cost-effective” only where the initial cost and annual savings to home buyers meet the following criteria:

  1. Are analyzed from the perspective of first-time home buyers, who typically have modest incomes and limited resources for downpayments.
  2. Are based on the final cost to the home buyer rather than the change in costs to the builder.
  3. Are estimated using methods and data that are reliable and verifiable.
  4. Result in a simple payback (initial cost divided by first-year savings) to the home buyer that does not exceed 10 years.
  5. Are evaluated on an incremental basis where the cost and savings for each change are calculated independently and added successively to a baseline that includes existing energy provisions as well as the other changes in a particular proposal.

Further resolved that where the federal government mandates energy codes/standards for federally insured or guaranteed housing, such codes and standards must be cost-effective and affordable.

Further resolved that NAHB urge Congress, state legislatures and local governments to work with private and public utilities, as well as the Department of Energy, to use incentives, grants and tax credits to assist the home buyer to purchase above-code energy features in the purchase of a new home.

Further resolved that, any energy efficiency legislation, regulation or code change related to housing be accompanied by an economic study of the impact on affordability and cost effectiveness.

Further resolved that NAHB continue to develop compliance tools and conduct educational programs that will help builders and code officials understand and correctly apply the provisions of the energy codes and standards (i.e., International Residential Code, IRC; International Energy Conservation Code, IECC; and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineers, ASHRAE).

Resolution originally adopted: 2008.2, Resolution No. 5

Committees with primary jurisdiction:

  • Construction, Codes & Standards Committee
Full Resolution The full text of this resolution is available for download