Innovations in energy efficiency finance — new FHA rule points the way ahead for 2014Switchboard, February 5, 2014
A simple new rule of the Federal Housing Administration should be counted as a recent innovation in energy efficiency finance: For a homebuyer to qualify for an FHA-insured mortgage to purchase a newly built house, the house must meet the standards of a modern energy code.
You might be surprised this merits an award for innovation because to most people this rule sounds like fine-tuning, not grand invention.
FHA’s new rule means every FHA borrower will be sure to get a code-compliant house. FHA insured about 700,000 purchase mortgages in 2013, and about 10% were new home purchases. FHA’s new rule will save money foer the homebuyer and cut pollution from power plants that don’t have to make power that would otherwise be wasted — for 70,000 houses, every year, for the life of the house.