Fueling Green Mortgage Reform: There Is Much Debate around How to Encourage More Energy Efficiency in the Nation's Housing Stock

By Szalay, Andrew | Mortgage Banking, May 2012 | Go to article overview

Fueling Green Mortgage Reform: There Is Much Debate around How to Encourage More Energy Efficiency in the Nation's Housing Stock


Szalay, Andrew, Mortgage Banking


A policy debate is under way about the future of residential real estate finance--and it does not deal with implementing the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, or establishing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) or determining the future of the secondary mortgage market. Rather, this debate pits ideas about the way residential mortgage finance is done against the way we use the resources of this planet. * If this sounds pretty serious, that's because it is to many people--and yet it is unknown or easily dismissed by many others. Still, the debate is rising to a pitch that may not be easily ignored for much longer. * Over the past 20 years or so, the environmental--or "green"--movement has taken on the issues of residential real estate only tangentially. Recently, however, the movement has become increasingly interested in residential real estate finance as a means of addressing a significant aspect of what it sees as a serious problem. * According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California (a member of the national laboratory system supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through its Office of Science, and managed by the University of California), 39 percent of all electricity and natural gas consumed in the United States goes to buildings; 2 1 percent of that is used in residential homes. * While the commercial and multifamily markets have a system for measuring the total operating costs, including energy consumption and expenses, the single-family market is criticized for not including this as part of underwriting. In fact, federal legislation proposes to require just that.

At the same time, there may be genuine opportunities for residential mortgage lenders to play a significant role in helping consumers reduce energy costs and improve the value of their properties.

There are many unresolved issues tied to this topic, so this article merely provides an introduction to the subject of the mortgage industry's role in energy efficiency.

The drain of a home

According to New York based McGraw-Hill Construction's 2011/2012 Green Home Builders and Remodelers Survey, 17 percent of all new homes being built today are designed to meet very stringent green standards, including in the use of energy, water, resource management, indoor air quality, site placement and compliance with national green building standards. Additional new-home green construction is being done at a lower standard that consists of just energy-efficient homes. The same study also projects growth at these higher green standards to reach nearly 40 percent within the next five years.

"Builders are adding energy efficiency to capture homebuyers today," says Laura Reedy Stukel, a real estate agent with L.W. Reedy Real Estate, Elmhurst, Illinois, and a consultant for CNT Energy, Chicago. Stukel is certified in green home improvements and is involved in several green real estate initiatives.

"That puts pressure on owners of older homes to seek resources to make the same sort of improvements more doable," she adds.

Robert Sahadi, director of energy efficiency financing at the Institute for Market Transformation, Washington, D.C., explains that the current inventory of homes tends to fall in two broad categories: new energy-efficient homes (some of which have higher green standards); and older homes that, unless modified, are energy-inefficient.

According to the McGraw-Hill Construction survey, these older homes are concentrated in the New England states and states such as Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, California, Oregon and Washington. The opportunity for homeowners to remodel existing homes in these states is high.

Newer homes with green or energy-efficient features will have lower energy consumption and lower electric and natural gas costs than older homes. As this disparity grows with the furtherance of new green and energy-efficient home stock, older homes with lower energy efficiency and higher electric and natural gas costs will need upgrading to remain competitive with buyers. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Fueling Green Mortgage Reform: There Is Much Debate around How to Encourage More Energy Efficiency in the Nation's Housing Stock
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.