In a key win for NAHB, a group of 26 senators are calling on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to abandon their proposal that would require new single- and multifamily homes that are insured or guaranteed by the agencies to be subject to unrealistic and overly burdensome energy efficiency standards.
Echoing NAHB concerns, the Senate letter to HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that adoption of these revised energy standards “would impose significant costs on American households, particularly low- and moderate-income families, and put undue pressure on an already constrained housing supply.”
Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.); Tim Scott (R-S.C.), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources; and John Boozman (R-Ark.), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry; led more than 20 of their colleagues in urging HUD and the USDA to scrap their plan to adopt revised energy standards for new homes and apartments that are insured or guaranteed by the two agencies.
In a press release issued by the senators, the lawmakers said this proposal “would reduce the supply of new housing, increase costs on residential contractors, and significantly impact low-income households.”
“Over the last few years, the Biden administration has demonstrated a reckless commitment to forcing its unrealistic environmental agenda onto various aspects of the economy via its push toward electrification, regulating household appliances, and the stifling of conventional American energy production,” wrote the senators to the two Cabinet leaders. “So it is not at all surprising that the administration is now forcing its agenda onto families purchasing or renting a home, all while admitting that ‘lower-income households ... may be challenged in their ability to address first costs.’
“To that end, we request that you abandon this effort and conduct an honest evaluation as to how adoption of the revised international energy conservation code (IECC) and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standards would increase costs and give special attention to the affect adoption would have on lower-income families.”
In addition to Thune, Scott, Barrasso, and Boozman, the letter was also signed by U.S. Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Katie Britt (R-Ala.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).
View the full letter to the HUD and Agriculture secretaries.