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A green house amid gray houses - 

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Renita Jablonski: Today Congress takes a look at a bill that would make loans for green homes and energy-efficient remodeling projects more affordable.
From the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, Sam Eaton reports.


Sam Eaton: Throughout the housing boom, green building was often brushed aside as too costly. But with home sales in a rut, energy efficient housing could now offer a bright spot. The House Financial Services Committee is holding a hearing today on boosting the number of government-backed, low-interest loans for green homes and remodels.

Sustainable housing advocate Stockton Williams says the legislation would not only stimulate the housing market, it would help consumers.

Stockton Williams: Green homes can save them money. And that's important at a time when gas is $4 a gallon and higher and home utility rates are skyrocketing in many parts of the country.

Stockton says federal leadership is essential in making green building affordable to the masses.

But not too much leadership, warns the National Association of Home Builders. The trade group urges Congress to stay away from any mandatory green building rules. It says consumer demand for energy efficient homes has been slow to take off.

I'm Sam Eaton for Marketplace.

Follow Sam Eaton at @eatonsam