One of the major barriers to energy code adoption across the country is the concern that new codes will add to the purchase price and potential buyers will not be able to afford the homes they want. In Alabama, upgrading homes to the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code will actually reduce out-of-pocket expenses for homeowners – paying off their initial investment in a matter of months.
For the average new home, BCAP estimates the costs of the new code will add a total of $669 in construction costs—an increase of only 0.3%. When this amount is rolled into the average mortgage, real costs to homebuyers will mean a down payment increase of $133.75, and $2.89 extra on monthly mortgage bills.
These added mortgage costs will be offset, however, by monthly energy savings of $17.08, helping homebuyers pay off their initial investment in only ten months. After breaking even in month ten, the home will return buyers a profit of $14 per month—for a total return of $166 every year.