From a technical Wednesday morning panel discussion comes a slow-burner of an
idea: the public should make the call about how homeowners can get sweeter mortgages when they save more energy. Michael
Lappin, a developer-financier who cut his teeth in the 1970s energy crisis, lays it out like this:
There should be national standards for scoring a home's energy-worthiness- its insulation, windows, boilers and such- as uniform as the standards that supposedly score a homebuyer's credit.
So now that we're controlling owners of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which exist to give banks assurance when they lend money for home purchases, why don't we oblige those enterprises to weave efficiency standards into the ways they score a borrower?
This notion dovetails with new initiatives at HUD, whose secretary has promised to enforce sustainability in every home using the federal agency's money- a huge market lever that will guide sustainability measures in the private lending market.
I hope to write more about Lappin's idea and HUD's transformation in coming weeks.