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Energy is More Expensive than Property Taxes + Homeowner Insurance

10 August 2011

Average U.S. Homeowner CostsDo you know how energy fits into your household budget?  The average American homeowner pays more for energy each year than for property taxes and homeowner’s insurance combined.   That’s a pretty substantial chunk of a household’s budget – which is where the SAVE (Sensible Accounting to Value Energy) Act comes in.

The SAVE Act, supported by energy efficiency advocates like the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy and real estate and business groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and U.S. Green Building Council, would require federal loan agencies assess a borrower’s expected energy costs when financing a house.

If passed, this legislation could help reward homeowners who are taking action to make their homes more energy efficient.

For example, the buyer of a residence that is 30 percent more efficient than a standard home could expect annual utility bill savings of $650 (or about $50 per month). Under the new underwriting guidelines, these expected savings would be applied to the borrower’s maximum loan limit, allowing the homeowner to qualify for a larger mortgage to cover the incremental cost of efficiency improvements. The monthly energy savings should more than offset any increase in the mortgage payment, resulting in a lower net payment each month. (Qualified Remodeler)

Proponents say other benefits may include protecting taxpayers from another foreclosure crisis by providing a more complete picture of repayment risk and the expected costs of home ownership, drive business and job growth in construction and manufacturing and expand the affordability of energy efficient homes.

:: Qualified Remodeler, Institute for Market Transformation

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