Bill Morris: I am all for improvement, but ...

I am all for improvement, but ...

Austin has long been among the most environmentally conscious, and active, cities in the country.  That is part of what makes Austin Austin.  An energy audit is required for all resale homes (1-4 family) at the time of sale, and new construction has been subject to required energy efficiency sampling for a long time.  Now, it appears that next year 100% of new homes will require energy efficiency audits for compliance with international standards:

Austin Business Journal, November 20, 2009

Proposal ruffles builders

The new rule will instead mandate testing for every single- or two-family unit by outside contractors.  More:^2478101

Again, I am all for improvements, but it seems to me that the market has pushed builders to improve energy ratings and will continue to do so.  The "good" builders will obviously market their superior efficiency.  Of course, the market will also determine how much value buyers attach to improvements, and there is a limit.  This proposal will "level the field" by imposing the same costs on all builders equally, but buyers will still limit how much they are willing to pay for better energy efficiency.  At some point, that will limit the sale of new homes or push new construction farther and farther from the city.

The article notes that statewide adoption of the international standards is required to qualify for federal stimulus funds.  Does increasing the cost of housing and increasing sprawl really qualify as "stimulus"?


Bill F. Morris, ABR, CRS, CDPE, e-PRO, MBA
RE/MAX Capital City
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Comment balloon 0 commentsBill Morris • November 20 2009 10:46AM