The costs of a more efficient home

A green house amid gray houses


Steve Chiotakis: So, the Senate's on summer recess, right? And lawmakers may have postponed any action on climate legislation 'til they return, but that doesn't mean the lobbyists are taking a break. From the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, Sam Eaton reports.

Sam Eaton: The House climate bill passed in June would require all new homes be 30 percent more efficient by 2010. But the National Association of Homebuilders' Bill Killmer says that's too far, too fast. He says the bill's tougher efficiency standards would stall any housing rebound.

Bill KILLMER: If you take this action it really will be a shock to the system and the concern is that you could stall that rebound if you're adding cost.

Killmer says those measures would costs about $4,000 extra. But efficiency advocates point out that once those costs are rolled into a 30-year mortgage, the energy savings far outweigh the higher payments. William Fay directs the Building Energy Efficient Codes Network.

WILLIAM FAY: And so this is money in the wallet of the homeowner.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy homeowners would net more than $500 a year in energy savings, despite the home's higher sticker price.

I'm Sam Eaton for Marketplace.

About the author

Sam Eaton is an independent radio and television journalist. His reporting on complex environmental issues from climate change to population growth has taken him all over the United States and the world.


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