July 8th, 2009


Cap & Trade Comes Home

Jimmie Bise digs out the details of Cap and Trade that will directly affect almost everyone.

Turns out the Federal Government wants to get into the local building code business. They're imposing new provisions that homes built in 2014 must be 50% more energy-efficient than the current code requires. Your current home isn't directly affected, but is subject to a state audit under circumstances such as selling it, renovating it, or changing the name on the utility bill. There's no Federal penalty for flunking the energy efficiency audit . . . but states only get their Federal funding for energy if they meet the "goals" set for housing stock energy efficiency. So it depends on whether your state legislature wants to meet the goal at the expense of new housing construction (done by generously-contributing contractors) or existing homeowners (unorganized taxpayers).

The Feds did put some chocolate sprinkles on the turd sandwich by offering to cover half the cost of a renovation, up to $12k, if you manage to reduce your house's energy consumption by 20%. Folks in drafty old farmhouses can consider this easy money. If you're in a state-of-the-art Eubanks-designed masterpiece of efficiency you're probably up the creek trying to meet a percentage goal.

Tell me again how the setting my dryer runs at counts as "interstate commerce?"
  • Current Mood
    cynical cynical