Join Our Webinar: Zero Energy Workforce Housing

Join Our Webinar: Zero Energy Workforce Housing

Join a builder who has been building to the DOE ZERH program for an inside look at how to get to zero affordably.

If you happened to watch the House Energy & Commerce committee hearing in late May (and why would you), you heard two very different perspectives on homebuilding in the United States. 

Zero Energy Workforce Housing

NAHB trotted out a homebuilder from the Kansas City area, where the 2021 IECC has already been adopted. The claim was made that housing starts were drastically down in the City because the new energy code was driving costs into the stratosphere, thus driving homebuyers into the suburbs where the energy code wasn’t so stringent.

I would love to have the ability to survey all these energy code refugee homebuyers to see if a) they know what is contained in any energy code and b) they knew what version of the energy code was adopted in whichever community they were looking to move to. 

I’d wager an easy $20 that 75% of those homebuyers couldn’t tell me the difference between the 2009, 2012, 2015, 2018, or 2021 IECC. They could even have their pick of any two codes in that set.

Thankfully, Rob Howard was also invited to give testimony to the committee. He was able to reference an 11-home community in North Carolina that he’s been building to the DOE Zero-Energy-Ready Home (ZERH) program. 

Rob and his family live in one of the eleven homes, which gave him the dual perspective of building the home and then directly paying the operating costs. The cost increases Howard cited were approximately one-fifth of NAHB’s inflated estimates. 

Because the focus was largely on money, Howard’s family’s and his customers’ satisfaction with the comfort and indoor air quality of their homes probably fell on deaf ears to some on the committee. Admittedly, it can be hard to quantify the value of those positive benefits, but they’re still positive benefits nonetheless.

Interestingly, the NAHB rep said his energy code-related costs were only half of NAHB’s helium-filled numbers, which tells you all you need to know about the validity of their cost approximations.

As we continue to educate people through the Housing 2.0 program, we’ll hear more and more builders share first-hand experiences like Howard’s. I know for a fact that he’s not alone in delivering high-performance homes that not only meet current energy codes, but exceed them. 

These builders are doing so in a way that is cost effective for the homeowner thanks to a net reduction in costs of ownership.

I hope you can join us on Wednesday, July 17 at 2 pm ET as Rob Howard stops by to discuss “Zero Energy Workforce Housing.” If we’re lucky, maybe a few members of the House E&C committee will tune in, too. It would certainly be time well spent.

Click here to reserve your seat!