Home Energy Labels Will Burden a Fragile Market
Frustrated with how the sluggish market is treating your business? Now imagine if you have to explain to clients why their homes got an "F" grade on energy conservation and have to reduce their selling price to keep buyers at the closing table. That's what could happen if the House Energy Committee passes the Waxman-Markey "American Clean Energy and Security Act" that creates new state-mandated Energy Star labels for homes and buildings.
Tell Congress that you support a strong housing market and energy efficiency. Tell them tax credits, financial incentives, and educating consumers are the best ways to achieve the benefits of energy efficiency while growing the housing market. It's a win-win for everyone. Mandates and labels will slow our economic recovery, and hurt energy efficiency.
The premise of the Waxman-Markey "American Clean Energy and Security Act" provisions is that if every home in America has an Energy Star label, consumers will start factoring into property buying decisions the energy efficiency of a building or home.
What's more likely to happen is buyers will use the energy label as a bargaining chip and present sellers with "take it or leave it" propositions - for example, improve your energy score by 5 points or knock $4,000 off the selling price.
In today's market, sellers will have no choice but to reduce the selling price, forcing down property values at a time when many property owners have already seen their retirement savings and equity vanish.
From TAR 5/04/2009