Climate bill and real estate

So the House passed the climate bill. Or the energy and climate-change bill. Or the American Clean Energy and Security Act. Or whatever you want to call it. It’s got stuff to annoy the heck out of everyone in it, and may — somewhere in its 1,200 pages — actually do something for the planet.

Like most things coming from Washington over the past, oh, nine to 15 years, in order to get the votes it needed, it throws lots of money around. But it does do some good — capping greenhouse-gas emissions for the first time, requiring the use of renewable energy, and putting money into clean energy.

So what does this have to do with real estate? (Aside from maybe buying those shoreline homes a bit more time before they’re under water?)

The part of the bill that’s causing some consternation is section 204: Building Energy Performance Labeling Program. It requires the establishment of

…a building energy performance labeling program with broad applicability to the residential and commercial markets to enable and encourage knowledge about building energy performance by owners and occupants and to inform efforts to reduce energy consumption nationwide.

That had some folks worried. If all homes had to have an energy rating, well, who would pay for it? Who would do it? How much would homeowners have to spend to improve their ratings? Would homeowners be required to meet new efficiency standards? How would it affect sales? What other ripple effects would it have? And so on.

Enter NAR and its lobbying effort, which amended the bill — no small feat!

Meet subsection (m):

(m) New Construction- This section shall apply only to construction beginning after the date of enactment of this Act .

That doesn’t answer all the questions, of course, but it at least reduces the effect and reduces the number of things for Realtors to worry about.

We’ll of course be tracking the bill as it winds its way through the Senate, and — assuming it passes — will give you a detailed analysis on how it affects you and your clients.

About Andrew Kantor

Andrew is VAR's editor and information manager, and -- lessee now -- a former reporter for the Roanoke Times, former technology columnist for USA Today, and a former magazine editor for a bunch of places. He hails from New York with stops in Connecticut, New Jersey, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Roanoke.
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4 Responses to Climate bill and real estate

  1. (Was that non-partisan enough? I was trying not to take sides.)

  2. Jim Duncan says:

    This is such a bad, bad bill on so many fronts. No one read it. (Note that I’m Libertarian/Independent).

    Start watching at 2:20; he’s discussing the 300 page amendment … That no one read.

  3. I bet that builders love this one…. (yes that is sarcasm)

  4. Kim says:

    I feel this bill could be good and it could be bad….I think any efforts to conserve energy and cut down cost of utilities is wonderful; however, the initial introduction to this program could be costly. And then, who will pay for the maintenance? I partly believe that we should spend our money on more current issues than trying to troubleshoot yet another economic issue. Just keep in mind, whatever “upgrades” that we will be required to make to our homes, if the government is funding that just gives the people in charge more chances to butt into our privacy. Privacy or eco-friendly homes?? I’m curious to see how this pans out…

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