NAHB Opposes Energy Codes Provision in Build Back Better Act

Codes and Standards

NAHB has sent a letter to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and members of his committee expressing strong opposition to a provision in the Build Back Better Act that would exacerbate the current housing affordability crisis and limit energy choice to consumers as a result of aggressive energy efficiency requirements in model building energy codes.

Specifically, the legislative language appropriates $300 million to provide incentive funding for states and local governments to adopt a building energy code that meets or exceeds the zero-energy provisions in the 2021 International Energy Code Council (IECC).

In expressing our opposition to this plan, NAHB stated that “these targets are not appropriate or cost-effective for many jurisdictions; rather, the Department of Energy should help states advance the codes in a manner that best fits the needs of state and local governments. Section 30433 [the building codes section of the bill] will result in an increase in the cost of homes, which may encourage people to remain in older, less energy-efficient homes.”

NAHB further told lawmakers that a failure to consider the true economic costs of required energy-use reductions in model building energy codes and declining to establish reasonable payback periods for these investments will result in fewer families being able to achieve the American dream of homeownership. We continue to work with lawmakers to find more appropriate and cost-effective ways to increase energy efficiency.

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