Install a $6,000 granite countertop and your client’s home value increases. But add $6,000 in mechanical upgrades and insulation, and their appraisal won’t go up a dollar.
That kind of thinking has led Sen. Michael Bennet (D.-Colo.) to craft legislation, being referred to as the Sensible Accounting for Valuing Energy (SAVE) Act, that would require lenders to consider energy savings as well as principal, interest, taxes, and insurance — PITI+E — when offering mortgages.
On a basic level, if you buy or “build a more energy-efficient home, you’d have more money to pay a mortgage,” says Ken Gear, executive director of Leading Builders of America, which represents 18 of the largest home builders in the country.
Gear and other supporters of the bill — such as the Alliance to Save Energy, the U.S. Green Building Council, the RESNET (Residential Energy Services Network), and the Institute for Market Transformation — believe that a host of problems could be solved if SAVE comes to fruition: protect taxpayers from foreclosure; create jobs; drive demand for energy-efficient homes; and expand the accessibility and affordability of energy-efficient homes.