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U.S. Senate Passes SAVE ACT

May 5, 2016

By a large bipartisan vote, the U.S. Senate incorporated the Sensible Accounting to Value Energy (SAVE Act) in its recently passed energy legislation.The SAVE Act is bi-partisan legislation aimed at incorporating the consideration of the energy performance of a home in the mortgage loan.  Passage of the SAVE Act has long been a legislative priority for RESNET.

On April 19, 2016, the Senate voted by a vote of 66 to 31 to incorporate the SAVE Act Amendment into the S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015.  On April 20 the Senate passed S. 2012 by a wide bipartisan majority.

To garner a filibuster proof vote, the Senate narrowed the SAVE Act’s scope so that it applies only to FHA mortgages. Despite this limitation, the Senate’s adoption of the SAVE Act amendment still goes a long way to ensure that energy efficiency is accounted for in the mortgage underwriting process.  According to the Alliance to Save Energy, FHA currently insures nearly 5 million single family homes.

The Senate energy bill will now have to be reconciled with energy legislation that was passed by the House of Representatives last year. Among other key differences, the House bill does not include the SAVE Act.

RESNET has been advocating with House leadership to incorporate the SAVE Act amendment in the final energy legislation.  In July 2016, RESNET joined a group of 50 organizations in a letter to the Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) urging the House to support the SAVE Act.  Joining RESNET was a wide diversity of interests including such organizations as:

  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • National Association of Manufacturers
  • The Real Estate Roundtable
  • American Chemistry Council
  • Leading Builders of America
  • National Association of Home Builders
  • Appraisal Institute
  • International Code Council
  • North American Insulation Manufacturers Association
  • Insulation Contractors Association of America
  • National Association of State Energy Officials
  • Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Environmental Defense Fund