As climate talks are heating up, the National Association of Home Builders told Congress on Thursday that it wants to partner with officials at all levels of the government to encourage energy efficient homebuilding, but does not want that to exacerbate the affordability problems that already exist.
Arn McIntyre, a green builder from Grand Rapids, Michigan, testified before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy on behalf of the NAHB, and urged the importance of green building incentives.
"These programs lower total ownership costs through utility savings as well as provide the flexibility builders need to construct homes that are cost-effective, affordable and appropriate to a home's geographic location," McIntyre said.
According to the NAHB, new home construction is more energy efficient than existing construction because new homes have better insulation and more energy efficient appliances.
McIntyre also noted that any federal mandates would have a negative impact on housing affordability and will prevent healthy competition in the marketplace, incentives play an important role in providing homeowners a cost-effective way to invest in energy efficiency.
"Targeting new homes would harm housing affordability and encourage people to remain in older, less energy-efficient homes. In turn, this would result in higher energy usage, higher greenhouse gas emissions and lower standards of living," he said. "Improving the energy efficiency of the 130 million homes built before 2010 that are much less energy efficient than today's new homes is a much more effective approach to reduce carbon emissions and achieve energy savings."