An e-mail (subject: "Homeowners-Listen Up") has begun to re-circulate with some erroneous and misleading information about the American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454) that was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last year.
Please be aware that claims that H.R. 2454 requires a license to sell your home, a mandatory energy audit or any point-of-sale energy efficiency retrofits by property owners are false. The e-mail is NOT accurate. H.R. 2454 remains pending in the Senate.
Senators Kerry (D-MA), Graham (R-SC) and Lieberman (I-CT) continue to pursue bipartisan support for an alternative to the House bill to move the legislation forward for consideration by the Senate. NAR continues to monitor the Senate efforts and will work to ensure residential and commercial real estate is not adversely impacted.
Additionally, during consideration of H.R. 2454, NAR was instrumental in eliminating time-of-sale energy efficiency requirements from the bill. The House approved H.R.2454 with the following two provisions. We will work to ensure that these provisions are retained in the Senate version of the legislation:
* Section 202 (Building Retrofit Program) would offer matching grants for home improvements. State governments would administer the program which is voluntary and available to all property owners.
* Section 204 (Building Energy Performance Labeling Program) would apply to new construction only and prohibit time-of-sale labeling. The original energy audit and MLS listing provisions were deleted.
Thanks to REALTORS®, NAR succeeded in excluding existing real estate from the bill requirements. Last summer, after the House approved its version of the legislation and this e-mail originally surfaced, NAR developed a full packet of information complete with legislative analysis, Myths vs. Facts, FAQs, etc. See the packet here.
In June 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the American Clean Energy and Security Act. The bill, H.R. 2998, includes NAR-supported provisions that exempt existing homes and buildings from the bill's provisions to build upon an existing Energy Star energy labeling program.
The House-approved bill:
• Does not create a federal energy audit requirement for real property;
• Exempts existing homes and building from any federal guidelines for new construction energy efficiency information labels;
• Prohibits the implementation of any labeling during a sales transaction;
• Leaves the decision to states as to whether to require energy audits, disclosures, etc.;
• Provides property owners with significant financial incentives, matching grants and tools to make property improvements and reduce their energy bills;
• Prohibits the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating residential and commercial buildings under the Clean Air Act;
• Eliminated an early proposal to allow citizens to sue over minor climate risks under the Clean Air Act; and
• Establishes green building incentives for HUD housing, including a loan program for renewable energy, block grants and credit for upgrades in mortgage underwriting.
While H.R. 2998 includes many positive changes, much work still needs to be done to ensure this bill does not harm real estateand private property owners.NAR will have additional opportunities to make further changes to address unresolved issues, such as the bill's building energy code targets, as the bill works its way through the Senate.
An NAR summary of climate issues, which summarizes NAR policy, may be accessed here.
Additional information, including Myths vs. Facts about home energy labeling, can be found here.