Cap And Trade Building Codes
This isn't even all of it, folks – from a Reuters article. I suspect new houses in the future are going to be rather different than one built today. My guess is, they'll cost more and people might not like some of the additons and things one has to give up to achieve compliance. The government will be authorized to design your home far beyond safety codes. And it'll be interesting to see what, if anything, they do as far as resales.
You might as well read it. You'll have a leg up on the many Representatives who no doubt haven't. Plenty of money going around in this, too. Just in case you thought the government was broke, nah, that would be you.
1. Establishes a “national energy efficiency building code” for residential and commercial buildings, sufficient to meet each of the national building code energy efficiency targets.
2. Sets energy efficiency targets for the national building code: “on the date of enactment of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, 30 percent reduction in energy use relative to a comparable building constructed in compliance with the baseline code…effective January 1, 2014, for residential buildings, and January 1, 2015, for commercial buildings, 50 percent reduction in energy use relative to the baseline code; and…January 1, 2017, for residential buildings, and January 1, 2018, for commercial buildings, and every 3 years thereafter, respectively, through January 1, 2029, and January 1, 2030, 5 percent additional reduction in energy use relative to the baseline code.”
3. If consensus based codes provides for greater reduction in energy use than is required under the ACESA, the overall percentage reduction in energy use provided by that successor code shall be the national building code energy efficiency target.
4. Requires that states and local governments comply with or exceed the national energy efficiency building code, and provides for enforcement mechanisms for states which are out of compliance.
The federalization of building codes has the potential to save consumers large amounts of money on their energy bills by enhancing the energy efficiency of buildings nationwide, as well as addressing the 38 percent of carbon emissions generated by buildings in a comprehensive manner. On the other hand, it represents a major shift in the balance of power over building and land use regulation. Traditionally, building codes, like almost all land use regulation in the United States has been a local (in some cases, state) issue. This makes for a patchwork of different codes across the nation. Indeed, thirteen states have no statewide commercial building codes, and fourteen states have no statewide residential building code.
With the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Department of Energy’s State Energy Program received billons of dollars. Under the Waxman-Markey bill, the State Energy Program will again receive billions of dollars for more energy efficiency retrofits. From the Pew Center on Climate Change (PDF):
"This section requires the Secretary of Energy to develop a Retrofit for Energy and Environmental Performance (REEP) program to facilitate building retrofit programs for energy efficiency and efficient water use. Funding will be made available through REEP to the State Energy Programs for state and local efforts, including audits, incentives, technical assistance, and training. States are permitted to choose funding mechanisms, with options including credit support, such as interest rate subsidies or credit enhancement, providing initial capital, and allocating funds for utility programs."
The REEP program has not been created yet so it is unclear what the program will look like. Based on the DOE’s previous support for PACE bond programs when allocating ARRA funds, don’t be surprised to see even more of these programs established through REEP.
1. Encourages energy efficiency in HUD housing by offering block grants and credit for energy improvements in the underwriting of mortgages;
2. Provides that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will have a duty to serve very low, low and moderate income communities while developing underwriting standards to facilitate a secondary market for energy-efficient and location efficient mortgages;
3. Requires federal banking regulators to establish incentives for the development and maintenance of “green banking centers” for the purpose of providing information to customers seeking information about acquiring green mortgages.
Interestingly, Perlmutter’s GREEN Act passed the full House of Representatives as part of HR 6899, the Comprehensive Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act in September 2008, but the Senate failed to take action on this legislation. The GREEN ACT was added this morning to the manager's amendment to the Waxman-Markey bill.