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Statement: Dream.Org Opposes Amendment Blocking Greener Home Construction

October 20, 2023

Dream.Org joins dozens of trade associations and advocacy groups in opposing Rubio Amendment #1237 which threatens to halt proposed updates to energy efficiency standards for new, federally-supported homes. The Amendment would cancel plans to reduce energy costs for hard-working families and increase estimated energy savings by nearly $15,000 in energy bills over the life of a single-family home and $5,000 per multi-family unit according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Urging Senators to reject the amendment, Dream.Org Chief Advocacy Officer Janos Marton issued the following statement:

"Energy efficient building standards are a common-sense strategy to reduce costs for American families and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. This summer's record heat and high energy costs are an all too recent memory for households across the country, especially for communities that already struggle to afford their energy bills. The same goes for the evermore expensive costs of heating homes in the winter. Senator Rubio's amendment would leave Americans cold."

To get involved, sign our petition here.



At Dream.Org, we bring people together across racial, social, and partisan lines. Through our Justice, Tech, and Green For All programs, we are working towards an America with fewer people behind bars, less pollution, and greater opportunities for underserved communities.



Oppose Rubio Amendment #1237 to H.R. 4366 (minibus appropriations bill)

Dear Majority Leader Schumer, Minority Leader McConnell, Chair Murray and Vice Chair Collins:

The undersigned organizations urge Senators to oppose Rubio Amendment #1237 “To prohibit the use of funds to implement the final rule regarding energy efficiency standards for certain subsidized housing.”

In May 2023, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a “preliminary determination” to update the energy requirements for new federally supported homes. HUD and USDA found that adopting the proposed energy code, which the Rubio Amendment would cancel, saves an average of $14,536 in energy bills over the life of a single-family home, and over $5,000 in energy bills per multifamily unit compared to their current requirements. The bipartisan 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) requires HUD and USDA to periodically update these requirements, but the agencies have failed to update them since 2015. In August, 160 organizations and thousands of individuals submitted comments to HUD and USDA in support of the proposed update.

Rubio #1237 would raise the total cost of living for families who are most sensitive to rising prices through higher and more volatile energy bills. Without the new energy standards, low-income households will unnecessarily endure decades of higher energy bills and homes that are less safe in the face of extreme heat and cold. Low-income households already bear significant energy cost burdens compared to higher income households, and this amendment will exacerbate these inequities.  

The cost of the requirements is only 2% of the average cost of a new home under their programs, paying for itself in less than 3 years on average. When amortized in a mortgage, these costs will generally be lower than the monthly energy savings, and will reduce the need for far more costly energy retrofits in the future.

For these reasons, the undersigned groups strongly oppose Rubio #1237 and urge you to vote no.


(Full list of groups here)

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