SAVE Act would reward energy-efficient homes

If you are in the process of looking for a new home, a new bipartisan bill in the works could prove very helpful. The federal Sensible Accounting to Value Energy (SAVE) Act, co-sponsored by Senators Michael Bennett (D-Colo.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), would require mortgage lenders to take the energy efficiency of a home into account when considering a loan applicant's eligibility. This could make affording a home easier for those who might be almost qualified but need a little financial help.

Though the bill would only be applicable to federally-backed mortgages, that accounts for nearly 90 percent of all new home loans. This will be beneficial for those who are looking to make a purchase, but cannot entirely afford it due to their debt-to-income ratio being a little too high. The SAVE Act would allow the monthly payments for a house to be cut down, if it is proven to be energy-efficient. Some critics are skeptical, believing this will further complicate the loan process, though proponents believe it will offer a big incentive for people to improve their home's efficiency.

The SAVE Act was originally introduced by Isakson and Bennett last summer, but it failed to reach the number of votes needed to pass. The SAVE Act has widespread support among environmental advocates, and was included as a part of the larger energy bill put forward by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) a few months ago. The Shaheen-Portman bill will see a vote later this year, which means the SAVE Act could be passed along with it.

If you live in Maryland, you can improve the energy efficiency of your home by having an energy audit conducted from Alban Inspections. We can help you address the areas where your house is using an unnecessary amount of power.