Thursday, April 15, 2010

"Green" Retrofit Requirement - Myth vs. Reality

There is an alarmist email circulating titled "A License Required for your HOUSE?" or, "Homeowner's Heads Up..."

Much of it is completely fabricated, and it contains some of the following text:

"A License will be required for your longer just for cars and mobile homes....Thinking about selling your house? Take a look at H.R. 2454 (Cap and Trade bill). This is unbelievable! Home owners take note and tell your friends and relatives who are home owners!

Beginning one year after enactment of the Cap and Trade Act, you won't be able to sell your home unless you retrofit it to comply with the energy and water efficiency standards of this 'Cap & Trade' bill, passed by the House of Representatives. If it is also passed by the Senate, it will be the largest tax increase any of us has ever experienced."

Now, for the truth:

Myth: The bill contains a new federal policy that requires residential and commercial buildings to be retrofitted to federal "green" standards prior to time of sale.

Reality: Section 202 (building retrofit program) does not contain point-of-sale retrofit requirements. The bill does: Provide states with the funding for financial incentives to property owners who voluntarily decide to make energy efficiency improvements. Provide that financial incentives may include grants, loans, loan guarantees, and/or mortgage interest rate buy-downs.

Establish a sliding scale for incentives -- i.e., if a home owner makes improvements that result in a 10% reduction in energy consumption, the owner would be eligible for an award of $1,000; a 20% reduction would be eligible for a $2,000 award, etc. up to a maximum award of 50% of the retrofit cost for each building.

Require state voluntary retrofit incentives programs that use federal funding for incentives to meet federal guidelines for certifying private contractor training, equipment and practices for energy audit/retrofit services eligible for federal funding.


Brian A. Rodgers
Manager of Federal Affairs
Appraisal Institute

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