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Congress Passes Legislation: Vets and Active Military for VA Loan Program

Jan 4, 2023 BuildersGeneralProvidersRaters


For the past two years, RESNET has worked with Congressman Mike Levin (D-CA) on legislation, the “Veterans Home Energy Savings Act” that would incorporate energy savings documented by HERS® Ratings in Veteran Home Loans.

Congress passed and President Biden signed into the $1.7 trillion omnibus bill to fund the government, which included language introduced by Congressman Levin. RESNET Executive Director Steve Baden worked closely with the Congressman’s staff in drafting the legislation.

The legislation creates a process for veterans and service members who are purchasing energy-efficient homes to factor their lower-cost energy bills into their residual income requirement, allowing them to qualify for higher VA home loans and incentivizing home upgrades that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The legislation requires an energy report developed by “the Residential Energy Service Network’s Home Energy Rating System (commonly know as ‘HERS’) by an individual certified by such Network.” The section dealing with the Veterans Loan energy efficiency program is posted at Veterans Home Energy Savings Act.

The language was part of “must pass” legislation that averted a government shutdown and increased spending on domestic and military programs and aid to Ukraine.

Congressman Levin commented on the legislation, “Veterans deserve every opportunity to achieve the American dream of home ownership, and we can make that easier for them by factoring energy savings into the VA’s lending process. This bill is a win‐win, saving veterans money and benefitting the environment by conserving energy. I hope we can pass this bill with bipartisan support and allow veterans to capitalize on all of the benefits of energy-efficient homes.”

The legislation was endorsed by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and passed out of the House Veterans Affairs Committee unanimously.

Congressman Levin represents the district where RESNET is based. The Congressman serves as the chairman of the House Veteran Affairs Economic Development Subcommittee and is a passionate advocate for clean energy. He spoke at the 2021 and 2022 virtual RESNET Conferences. Congressman Levin was recently re-elected to a third term in Congress.