March 20 News: Owning An Energy-Efficient Home Makes You Far Less Likely To Default On Your Mortgage

A new study finds that living in an energy-efficient home makes you one-third less likely to default on your mortgage. [E&E News (subs. required)]

Could double-pane windows lower your mortgage payments?

One day they might. Along with low-wattage lights, better insulation and smart appliances, living in an energy-efficient home makes you almost one-third less likely to default on your loan payments, according to a study released yesterday from the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. If banks include this factor when deciding on prospects, a home that shrinks your energy bills could also cut your mortgage rate. …

The report controlled for factors like the size of the home, its age, the borrower’s credit score, local unemployment rates, local climate and energy prices. Researchers paid special attention to loans that originated after 2006 and the types of loans disbursed to factor in the housing market collapse.

It turns out that Energy Star homes are 32 percent less likely to go into default. “We were expecting a number like 18 to 20 percent, to be honest,” Sahedi said. In fact, default risks go down as a home’s score on the Home Energy Rating System index goes up. Energy-efficient homes are also 25 percent less likely to prepay their loans, meaning lenders will make more money.

The new Chair of the House Science Committee’s subcommittee on the environment said: “I’m not as convinced as a lot of people are that man-made climate change is the threat they think it is.” [Salt Lake Tribune]


Climate groups are increasing pressure on the President to proceed with greenhouse-gas limits for new power plants, “as the utility industry seeks to weaken the standards before a deadline next month.” [Bloomberg]

A poll conducted in December found that 62 percent of Americans think the Earth is getting warmer, up from 55 percent last spring — and most base their opinions on the weather. [AP]

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said clean energy jobs grew from 2010 to 2011 at four times the rate of all other categories combined. [LA Times]

Ceres’ Mindy Lubber outlines the overwhelming support Renewable Portfolio Standards have in the states, and the mystifying opposition they inspire. [Forbes]

White House energy and climate advisor Heather Zichal said that “ANWR’s off the table” when asked if the Administration would trade drilling in the refuge in exchange for passage of the Energy Security Ttrust Fund. [Washington Post]


Los Angeles is accelerating the conversion of its reliance on coal by dumping its interest in an Arizona coal plant and converting one in Utah to natural gas. [LA Times]

Transocean CEO Steven Newman admitted in court that his crew should have done more to prevent the blowout that caused the Deepwater Horizon spill. [New York Times]