Petition the Federal Housing Finance Agency to Require Modern Energy Efficiency Standards for All New Homes with FHFA-backed Mortgages Now

Hundreds of thousands of new homes are built every year in the United States -- but unfortunately, due to a patchwork of nonexistent or weak state-level policies, most of them do not meet modern energy efficiency standards. Collectively this results in a huge waste of energy and money, and contributes significantly to our climate change problem.

At the same time, about one quarter of individuals have difficulty paying their energy bills - especially lower income households. And we know that homes built to modern standards can now reduce energy use by up to one-third -- delivering massive savings to households while also reducing our carbon emissions and lowering the risk of mortgage default.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) -- through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- directly or indirectly supports the purchase of most new homes in the U.S. by buying or guaranteeing their mortgages. Thus, the FHFA has the power to require that new homes using their mortgages be built to modern efficiency standards.  

According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, this policy change would save residents almost $3 billion after added costs, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 15 million metric tons, for homes built in the first year alone.

It’s also important to note, as well, that there’s ample precedent for applying these standards; both the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) are already strengthening their energy efficiency requirements for the mortgages they back. So a similar step by FHFA would create consistent, cost-saving standards for nearly all federally backed mortgages for new homes.

Additionally, requiring modern efficiency standards nationwide would be compatible with FHFA’s stated need to address climate change - and also reduce risks associated with mortgage defaults, because research has shown that residents of energy efficient homes are less likely to default on mortgage payments.

Click “add your name” to co-sign our petition to FHFA Director Sandra Thompson in support of modern energy efficiency standards for all new homes with federally-backed mortgages.

Petition Text:

We, the undersigned, ask the Federal Housing Finance Agency to follow HUD and USDA's leadership, and adopt strong energy efficiency standards for all new homes backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to help homeowners and renters across the U.S. save on energy bills now and into the future.