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Institute for Market Transformation

Promoting energy efficiency in buildings
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Lenders and Appraisers

IMT’s Market Engagement team develops and deploys innovative methods for appraisers, lenders, commercial real estate agents, and other professionals to use to factor energy performance into property valuation. This work ensures that a building’s value reflects both market demands for high-performance spaces and its true operating costs and that energy use is properly factored into purchasing decisions. In tandem with this, the Market Engagement team works with financiers to develop, promote, and refine financing mechanisms that make it possible for building owners and tenants to invest in energy efficiency improvements.

Want to learn more? Scroll down or click here to access some of IMT’s recent work on commercial energy efficiency financing as it pertains to appraisals, financing mechanisms, and underwriting processes; visit the more extensive Resource library; and contact one of our experts now.

Appraisals

Over the past two decades, IMT has worked side-by-side with leading organizations including the Appraisal Institute and Appraisal Foundation to provide guidance to leading appraisers and property owners on how best to capture the value of green and high-performance attributes. We actively seek case studies, suggestions, and partners in this endeavor.

Financing Mechanisms

IMT collects and analyzes in-the-field feedback on the financial barriers preventing widespread investment in high-performance buildings and helps develop and promote private sector finance models and tools to overcome these barriers. IMT pushes the envelope of a host of funding methods, such as private financing; bank loans; GSE and government mortgages; and tax credits. We also consider and evaluate more novel financing approaches. Some recent market-based financing solutions of interest are Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), energy service agreements, on-bill financing, tax-increment financing, and energy performance contracts.

Underwriting Processes

IMT works to reform mortgage underwriting and home appraisal practices to fully account for energy and to educate key stakeholders on energy efficiency valuation and innovative financing measures that can result in more energy-efficient homes and less overall energy consumption; lower utility bills for homeowners; mortgage underwriting that is more sound, with reduced risk of defaults; and the creation of green jobs in the real estate, home construction, and retrofit markets.

  • Home Energy Efficiency and Mortgage Risks

    Groundbreaking research by IMT and the UNC Center for Community Capital shows that owners of energy-efficient homes are 32 percent less likely to default on their mortgages. 

     
  • The SAVE Act
    
IMT has been a leading advocate of the SAVE (Sensible Accounting to Value Energy) Act, a proposal supported by energy efficiency advocates and leading U.S. homebuilders, which seeks to correct mortgage underwriting and home appraisal practices to assess the expected energy costs for mortgage loan applicants.

    
The average homeowner spends over $2,000 each year on energy costs, more than on either property taxes or home insurance. Yet taxes and insurance are regularly accounted for in mortgage underwriting, while energy is ignored. The SAVE Act, which IMT helped draft, would remedy this blind spot to improve the quality of lending. Purchasers of more efficient homes could get better terms for a mortgage--in light of the lower utility bills they can expect—and in some cases could finance energy-saving improvements as part of their mortgage.

     

IMT’s Market Engagement team effectively engages a wide range of private market stakeholders—building owners and tenants, brokers and real estate agents, and lenders and appraisers, among others—to improve building performance and unlock billions of dollars in investment, creating thousands of jobs, improving businesses’ bottom lines across the country, and measurably addressing America’s climate challenge.  Click here to access our work with owners and tenants and click here to access our work with brokers and real estate agents.