Consumers interested in energy-efficient homes will benefit if a recent bill, called the SAVE Act (Sensible Accounting to Value Energy), becomes law. The law, if enacted, would require Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration to take energy savings into account when underwriting home mortgages.
Current practice generally does not factor any value into the home mortgage analysis for the savings derived from an energy-efficient home. The bill would require these cost savings to be factored into the analysis both in terms of evaluating the borrower’s income as compared to his or her monthly expenses and for purposes of valuing the home. The end result should be that a borrower would qualify for a larger loan.
The SAVE Act was introduced by Senators Michael Bennet (D-Co.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) on June 6, 2013. It is widely supported by a coalition of business, real estate, energy and environmental groups.