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Green Builder Media is proud to announce the launch of Code Watcher, a brand-new title that is dedicated to covering information, news, and trends related to residential building codes, ratings, programs, and safety rules.

Code Watch: The Importance of Energy Raters is Quickly Growing

Posted by Mike Collignon

Aug 25, 2014 4:52:00 PM

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.

SAVE Act

That’s where The Sensible Accounting to Value Energy (SAVE) Act comes into play. It calls for an updating of the HUD guidelines, which drive many U.S. mortgages. There are many business, industry, appraisers, state energy officers, builders and environmental groups who support this common-sense legislation. The big question remains: Will it ever pass Congress?

Thankfully, there are other money-saving resources at the industry’s disposal. They include studies on lowered foreclosure rates and higher property values for energy-efficient homes, PACE financing, 203k programs, tax credits, updated energy codes and green building programs.

While an energy rater typically provides concrete evidence of a structure’s energy savings, today’s energy rater needs to look beyond the scientific examinations & calculations. Conversing with underwriters, appraisers, real estate agents, mechanical contractors, homeowners and municipalities will help convey the value of a rater’s services. It will also build an identity and reputation amongst influential stakeholders.

For more on this topic, the Green Builder® Coalition invites you to attend our EEBA session, “The Ever-Growing Importance of Energy Raters”, on Wednesday, September 24th at 10:15am CT. Register here.

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