Mandala Custom Homes sustainable, energy-efficient healthy home

Pacific Insti­tute for Cli­mate Solu­tions reveals good news about mak­ing the choice to build an Energy-Efficient Man­dala Home

PICS reports: “The risk of default­ing on a mort­gage is 32% lower for home­own­ers that live in energy-efficient homes, accord­ing to a new study by the Uni­ver­sity of North Car­olina – Cen­ter for Com­mu­nity Cap­i­tal. The study, “Home Energy Effi­ciency and Mort­gage Rates,” is the first to try to quan­tify the con­nec­tion between a home’s energy effi­ciency and default risk of the home­owner. To assess whether res­i­den­tial energy effi­ciency is asso­ci­ated with lower default risks, the report is based on a national sam­ple of about 71,000 single-family home mort­gages, and takes into account loan, house­hold, and neigh­bor­hood char­ac­ter­is­tics. The report finds that more effi­cient houses are asso­ci­ated with lower default risk and con­cludes that money saved on energy costs is a fac­tor explain­ing the lower default risk. It stands to rea­son that because own­ers of effi­cient homes save money on util­ity bills, they can there­fore put those sav­ings toward mort­gage payments.

The find­ings of this study sug­gest that the US hous­ing mar­ket may be well served by con­sid­er­ing rules that would improve the accu­racy of mort­gage under­writ­ing through ensur­ing that energy costs are con­sid­ered in the mort­gage under­writ­ing process. One approach has been adopted here in Canada already. The Canada Mort­gage and Hous­ing Cor­po­ra­tion (CMHC) offers a 10% pre­mium refund on its mort­gage loan insur­ance pro­gram, as well as an extended amor­ti­za­tion period, to indi­vid­u­als who use CMHC-insured financ­ing to pur­chase energy effi­cient homes. The stated pur­pose of the pro­gram is to pro­mote energy con­ser­va­tion and pro­vide ini­tia­tives that reduce green­house gas (GHG) emis­sions. Provin­cially, British Columbians are sav­ing energy and money through par­tic­i­pa­tion in the LiveS­mart BC pro­gram, which offers more than $7,000 in rebates in 54 dif­fer­ent areas for energy effi­ciency. FortisBC’s Pow­erSense pro­gram also offers rebates and finan­cial incen­tives to make upgrad­ing to energy-saving tech­nolo­gies more affordable.”