But an unlikely coalition of big builders and environmental organizations has come up with a way to stimulate sales by making energy-efficient new housing more attractive to cost-conscious buyers. Their plan centers around a proposed piece of federal legislation called the SAVE Act (the name is a contraction of Sensible Accounting to Value Energy), which is designed to address a fundamental imbalance in the way federal mortgage programs appraise the value of new homes. The legislation will be presented to Congress sometime this spring under the sponsorship of Senator Michael Bennett of Colorado.

Granite countertops vs. utility bills. The amount a buyer can borrow for a new home is determined in large part by its expected resale value. In general, the more value-added features a home has, the higher its perceived resale value and the larger the mortgage.

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