GOP Lawmakers Slam Biden Energy Rules, Cite Soaring Home Costs

A group of Republican lawmakers, led by Rep. Andy Ogles (R-TN), has criticized the Biden administration’s new energy guidelines for single-family homes, expressing concern that these regulations will further exacerbate the already high housing prices and make homeownership less affordable. Ogles, along with eight other House Republicans, sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, voicing their objections to the new rules. They argue that mandating all new homes to comply with the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) will worsen the housing affordability crisis.

The 2021 IECC requires new homes to include specific energy-efficient features, such as double-wall construction, which some estimate could add up to $31,800 to the cost of a 2,400-square-foot home. The IECC serves as a model for states to establish energy efficiency standards for residential buildings.

The Republican lawmakers are particularly concerned about the additional financial burden these guidelines would place on homebuyers, potentially discouraging new home construction. The letter was signed by Reps. Alex Mooney (R-WV), Byron Donalds (R-FL), Warren Davidson (R-OH), Ralph Norman (R-SC), John Rose (R-TN), Dan Meuser (R-PA), Monica De La Cruz (R-TX), and Roger Williams (R-TX), alongside Ogles.

Ogles contends that the Biden administration is making homeownership increasingly difficult for Americans. He highlights that many are already struggling with high interest rates, and adding approximately $31,000 to the cost of a home is unacceptable. He believes this mandate will negatively impact aspiring homeowners without providing significant benefits to renters. 


The lawmakers have called on the government to reconsider these guidelines, warning of severe consequences for home builders and the overall affordability of housing. They urge the administration to withdraw the determination and refrain from introducing any initiatives that would further harm new construction and housing affordability. Their concerns are especially focused on the impact on home buyers who depend on FHA, USDA, and VA loans for financing.

While the Biden administration argues that the new rules will help residents save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Republican lawmakers believe that the added costs to homebuyers and the potential negative impact on new home construction outweigh these benefits.

Written by Staff Reports

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