The focus on building energy use is probably the highest it’s been in 40 years. From corporations trying to cut operating expenses, to low-income homeowners trying to reduce their monthly utility bills, it’s not just about first-cost any more.
Unfortunately, the lending process hasn’t adjusted to this new, all-encompassing perspective. Sustainable attributes rarely get assigned a value, and even if they do, it is not truly reflective of the overall value. The underwriting equation (PITI) doesn’t even consider utility/energy costs, which can be the 2nd largest monthly housing expense behind the principal & interest. Because of this flawed process, some view advanced energy codes and green building programs as a disincentive.