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Legislation aims to implement energy costs into underwriting guidelines

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Adding to compliance changes, mortgage lenders may have to start updating their underwriting for borrowers who submit a qualified home energy report, but unlike the other changes, this one is to support energy efficiency. 

The Sensible Accounting to Value Energy Act was recently introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sens. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.

The bipartisan bill is aimed at encouraging greater investment in insulation and other forms of home energy efficiency, Johns Manville, a North American manufacturer of energy building products, said.  

The SAVE Act will require lenders to account for energy saving costs when calculating monthly mortgage payments, the manufacturer explained.

Additionally, the report says the bill will require lenders to inform loan applicants of the costs and benefits of energy efficiency as well as the resources available for improving the energy efficiency of a home.

Johns Manville CEO Mary Rhinehart, said, "Having lenders inform borrowers of the costs and benefits of energy efficiency at the time of mortgage application will spur more home energy efficiency upgrades."

He added, "For many people the only time they have access to large amounts of low-cost capital is when they are seeking a mortgage, whether for a home purchase or a re-finance."

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