This week, the Senate passed S. 2012, the U.S. Energy Modernization Act, sponsored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA). Two provisions in the bill relate specifically to the real estate sector:
(1) The SAVE Act would allow federal mortgage underwriters, such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to consider the energy savings from efficiency upgrades when determining a homebuyer's ability to make payments.
(2) The bill permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation fund, which acquires land from willing sellers to create parks, greenways and other outdoor recreational spaces. The provision also reforms the program by redirecting more funds to non-federal and private land acquisition programs.
The bill now heads to a conference with the House energy bill, H.R. 8, to reconcile both pieces of legislation before it can get to the President's desk for a signature.