‘Huge impact’: Biden on cusp of slashing emissions from new homes

By Thomas Frank | 05/28/2024 06:25 AM EDT

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac might impose strict energy standards, raising home construction costs while lowering pollution.

Homes being built in Trappe, Maryland.

The Biden administration is considering whether to require strict energy codes for new homes. Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration is considering a new federal mandate that would require millions of newly built homes to have efficient heating and cooling systems, in a policy shift that could transform the nation’s housing market.

The administration has said it will decide within weeks whether to require a large number of homes to be built according to the latest international standards for energy efficiency.

Many U.S. homebuilders use efficiency standards that are up to 15 years old and have weaker requirements for features such as insulation, lighting, and heating and cooling. Newer standards result in lower energy consumption and home emissions.


The proposed policy would apply to the hundreds of thousands of new homes bought each year with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.