NAHB has sent a letter to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in support of the Lower Energy Costs Act (H.R. 1), legislation that would repeal a section of the Inflation Reduction Act that provides $1 billion to pressure state and local governments to adopt advanced energy codes.
“While NAHB supports the adoption of cost-effective, modern energy codes, we oppose these grant programs that prevent amendments to the energy code that accommodate local conditions and a cost-effectiveness analysis,” the letter to McCarthy stated.
NAHB believes that forcing the adoption of costly energy codes to qualify for these grants would exacerbate the current housing affordability crisis and limit energy choices for consumers. Adoption of the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code can cost a home buyer as much as $22,000 in additional costs and can take as long as 90 years to see a simple payback for these investments.
“Implementation of these grants would result in fewer families being able to achieve the American dream of homeownership,” said the letter to the House leadership. NAHB noted that efforts to push costly and restrictive energy codes across the country without an opportunity for local review overburden new construction and largely ignore the energy performance of the existing housing stock. New homes built to modern codes are already energy efficient which makes increasing code stringency often unnecessary.
H.R. 1 also repeals a provision in the Inflation Reduction Act that addresses energy efficiency in older homes. NAHB stands ready to work with Congress to develop a practical energy efficiency program that addresses the great need for energy efficiency improvements in older homes.
“NAHB supports H.R. 1 as it provides much needed common-sense energy solutions for our country while protecting consumer choice and preserving housing affordability,” the letter said. “We urge the House of Representatives to swiftly pass this legislation.”
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