Friday, June 5, 2009

Down-payment help for energy-efficient homes

The New Jersey Senate budget and Appropriations Committee on Monday
will consider legislation which would tighten the state's building code to encourage the construction of more
energy-efficient homes.

Uh oh, you say. Another case of government driving up an industry's costs in order to effect some desirable social goal.

Well, yes, but the bill doesn't end there. It also seeks to offset the increased costs of such homes by offering assistance with down payments to new buyers.

The bill, S-702, sponsored by Senator Bob Smith (D-Middlesex), authorizes the State Commissioner of Community Affairs to amend the Uniform Construction Code's energy subcode to establish enhanced energy-saving construction requirements. The costs of those added requirements would have to be recoverable, through energy conservation savings, over a period of not more than seven years.

In addition, it directs the state Board of Public Utilities to assist certain homebuyers by providing down payment funding assistance for the purchase of new homes which have increased costs due to the enhanced energy conservation building requirements.

An interesting approach, don't you think?

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