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Washington, D.C. – RealEstateRama – U.S. Congressman Sean Casten (IL-06) and Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) introduced the Getting Renewable and Energy Efficient Neighborhoods (GREEN) Appraisals Act, legislation to encourage energy-efficient and clean energy features to be considered as part of the residential home buying and appraisal process.

The GREEN Appraisals Act helps home appraisals accurately reflect the value of renewable and energy-efficient features of a property. In addition, the legislation standardizes the value of energy-efficient features across the housing market, encourages sustainable building practices, and supports green jobs in the housing industry.

“When you put a solar panel on your roof or install a heat pump, you add value to your home that must be properly reflected in appraisals,” said Casten. “This legislation both incentivizes homeowners to reduce their energy costs and helps in the fight against the climate crisis.”

“By cutting energy costs and reducing emissions, energy-efficient and clean energy home upgrades play an important role in our country’s transition to a clean energy economy,” said Bennet. “This bill will help ensure property appraisals reflect the complete value of homes in Colorado and across the nation by accounting for energy-efficient and clean energy investments.”

Specifically, the energy appraisals will take into consideration the energy efficiency characteristics of the property, any renewable energy-related features, estimated energy savings, the energy consumption for the property compared to similar properties, and whether such characteristics are relevant to the market value of the property. It also requires additional educational requirements and training for appraisers in order for them to qualify to provide accurate green appraisal reports.

The bill also directs the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), and Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) to require lenders, when making the disclosures under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), to notify home loan borrowers they have a right to request an energy report, as well as a right to provide an energy report to the lender or a qualified appraiser, which must take the energy report into consideration when developing an opinion of value for a home.

The GREEN Appraisals Act has been endorsed by Pearl Certification, Building Performance Association, Appraisal Institute, American Society of Appraisers, NCLC (on behalf of its low-income clients), and RESNET.

Text of the legislation can be found HERE.

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