Home builders and efficiency supporters reach breakthrough agreement

For several years, home builders and energy efficiency advocates have shared a very delicate relationship. While both groups recognize the importance of updating building codes on the local and federal levels in order to create more eco-friendly properties, they have rarely been able to agree on just how strict those guidelines should be. This tenuous back-and-forth may have taken a positive turn, though, as the two have reportedly reached a new deal that could promote further cooperation in the future.

Greentech Media reports that the Leading Builders of America (LBA) – which represents 40 percent of the country's single-family-home builders – partnered with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) last month in a show of support for new residential energy codes that could drastically improve the efficiency of housing stock. If adopted, these new proposals could create homes that are 20 percent more energy efficient over the next two years. David Goldstein, co-director of the NRDC's energy and transportation program, hailed the joint effort as the first instance in 40 years where the two parties have been able to work together.

"This is a breakthrough – this agreement shows there's progress," Goldstein said in an interview. "This is the first time we've talked to LBA as a group on overarching code issues. While we didn't agree on everything, we narrowed the differences enough."

As advocacy organizations and builders begin working together like this, the proliferation of energy efficient homes in America will only increase even more in the future. Maryland residents looking to improve how their houses utilize power now are encouraged to schedule an appointment for a home inspection. Maryland home inspectors can help identify and correct ways in which your residence may be wasting energy and unnecessarily driving up utility bills.