10-31-23 | News

NAHB Pleased with Key Legislation Rulings

WOTUS, Transformers, and Energy Codes
by Staff

NAHB is pleased with rulings of three key legislative efforts that directly affect homebuilders.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is pleased with three important legislative rulings that were approved through the Energy and Water appropriations bill by the House on October 26.

Prior to the vote, NAHB sent a letter to lawmakers urging the passage of the three points of the spending bill.


The bill includes verbiage that defunds any efforts by the Department of Energy (DOE) to increase energy efficiency standards as DOE has proposed a rule to increase efficiency standards for transformers by a tenth of a percentage point. NAHB believes that this would exacerbate raising housing costs.

In the letter to lawmakers, NAHB said that "Congress's authority to withhold funding for this ill-conceived rule will prevent consequential bottlenecks in the supply chain." However, the House and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy, Climate and Grid Security approved legislation that will ease the shortage of distribution transformers.

Meanwhile, the Energy and Water appropriations bill also addresses the Biden administration's 2023 WOTUS Rule which the association believes "falls far short of providing certainty and clarity to the regulated community by providing vague definitions of what water features are covered by the Clean Water Act (CWA)." NAHB does agree with the proactive measures taken by Congress to withhold funding for the original ruling while they work with legislators to achieve WOTUS guidelines that will ease home construction.

Last year, The Inflation Reduction Act became a law that now provides $1 billion to support governments to adopt updated energy codes. NAHB was able to get this legislation passed by the House that repeals the section of the Inflation Reduction Act that funds $1 billion towards pressuring state and local governments to update energy codes that in turn are costly and more restrictive. However, a companion bill was introduced to Senate with 12 co-sponsors.

The spending bill approved on October 26 still upholds defunding the section of the Inflation Reduction Act that provides the $1 billion in grant money to adopt updated energy codes.


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