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Update on the Senate Energy Bill - SAVE Act Not Included (Yet)

by Coby Rudolph

Last week, the Senate Energy and Naural Resources Committee held markup hearings on a proposed comprehensive energy bill that would include both energy generation and energy efficiency components. The committee largely incorporated the Shaheen-Portman energy efficiency legislation into its proposed legislative package (we discussed Shaheen-Portman in our June 2015 Legislative Update).

However, one key component of Shaheen-Portman was missing: the SAVE Act. The Save Act would direct mortgage underwriters to consider the operating costs of a home (i.e. how much its occupants would pay in utility bills) when determining how large a loan the buyer is eligible for. It would be one step toward better valuations for energy efficient homes.

Senaator Murkowski, who chairs the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, indicated her general support for the SAVE Act -- but questioned whether it the Energy committee has jurisdiction over it because of its impact on the financial services industry. 

We expect that the dialougue on SAVE Act will continue both in the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and then if or when the energy bill makes it to the Senate floor.

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