HR-2454 or the “Cap and Trade Bill” Could Require A License To Sell Your House- Legislation in Process!

Summary of eRumor:

This is a forwarded email about the Congressional Bill HR-2454 or what has been coined the “Cap and Trade” Bill.   The email warns that home owners would have to retrofit their homes in order to comply with the energy and water efficiency standards mandated by this bill.

The Truth:

HR-2454 is the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 which  House of Reprentatives passed on June 26, 2009. 

The Senate version of the bill is scheduled for introduction on April 26, 2010, according to an April 15, 2009 article by Reuters.  The article said, “like the House-passed bill and Obama administration policy, it would set a target of 17 percent reductions in smokestack emissions of carbon dioxide by 2020, from 2005 levels.”   The article said Democratic Senator John Kerry, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and independent Senator Joseph Lieberman are drafting the bill. 

The 1428 page Congressional bill, sponsored by Congressman Henry Waxman of California, was written in an effort to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other gasses in the U.S. that are blamed for global warming. The text and progress of the bill can be viewed on the Congressional Thomas Library site: Click for bill.

GovTrack.US, which is mentioned in the forwarded email, is a civic project which also tracks bills in Congress and has posted the text of the bill, progress, related reports and voting statistics.   Click for GovTrack.US.   


HR-2454 Concerns for Home Owners by Elected Leaders and Real Estate Professionals

Many concerns have been raised since the introduction of this bill by critics.

Congressman John Boehner (R-OH), in his June 26, 2009  blog entry warned, “Home Sellers Beware. Having a hard time selling your home? Here’s one more hurdle to jump: all home sales are conditioned upon an energy audit and a new energy rating assessment and energy labeling program for your home that’s outlined in the Democrats’ bill. And if you thought you could improve your property with a fresh coat of paint and some granite counters? Think again! Now your home will be subjected to a new energy rating assessment and energy labeling program that will penalize you for older windows, original fixtures, and dated appliances. So the Democrats’ bill would bring down the value of your home!”  

Doug Willis is a California Real Estate Broker and the creator of a real estate website  “up2date”.  In a June 30,2009 article, Willis points out that there is a provision  in the bill that could take place at a point of sale, meaning before a home transaction could close there would be a required energy audit on the property. Willis speculated that, “Minimum guidelines would probably be developed to determine pass or fail, and then the appropriate repairs or updates would have to be performed to bring your home up to standards.”  Click for article.

In a follow up July 8, 2009 article , Willis reported that The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Government Affairs Division released a report called, “NAR Myths and Facts -The American Clean Energy and Security Act” which addressed the realtor’s concerns.  The report said, the” NAR was successful in getting harmful federal energy audit requirements and point-of sale triggers dropped from the bill.”

The NAR reported:

Claim: “The bill mandates energy audits and labeling before any home in America is sold.”
Fact: The bill does not create a federal energy audit or labeling requirement. As introduced, the original bill would have required energy audits and labeling at the time of sale. However, Realtors succeeded in making many positive changes before the bill passed. Many published reports are not based on the version of the bill that was considered by the House. As approved, the bill:
• Does not create energy audit requirement for real property at time of sale.
• Exempts existing homes, multifamily and commercial buildings from any federal energy labeling guidelines such as the existing federal Energy Star label program (section 204(m)), and
• Leaves the decision entirely to state governments whether to pass a law to require labels, but expressly prohibits labeling during a transaction (Section 204(h)).             
Click for NAR Report

 updated 04/16/10

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Subject: FW: This Will blow Your Socks off Homeowners!

Don’t want to be bothered with “Political stuff?” You’d better read this one. It will come as a huge shock to you if you aren’t informed as to what Obama is up to, and it has already passed one hurdle. It will take very little now to put it into actual law!! YOU’D BETTER WAKE UP AMERICA !!!!

So you think you live in a free country.
Boy have you got a surprise coming.
A License Required for your HOUSE?

If you own your home you really need to check this out. At the end of this email is the Google link to verify. If the country thinks the housing market is depressed now, wait until everyone sees this. No one
will be buying homes in the future.

We encourage you to read the provisions of the Cap and Trade Bill that has passed the House of Representatives and are being considered by the Senate. We are ready to join the next march on Washington! This Congress and their “experts” are truly out to destroy the middle class of the U.S.A.

A License will be required for your house…no longer just for cars and mobile homes….Thinking about selling your house? Take a look at H.R. 2454 (Cap and Trade bill). This is unbelievable! Home owners take note and tell your friends and relatives who are home owners!

Beginning one year after enactment of the Cap and Trade Act, you won’t be able to sell your home unless you retrofit it to comply with the energy and water efficiency standards of this “Cap & Trade” bill, passed by the House of Representatives. If it is also passed by the Senate, it will be the largest tax increase any of us has ever experienced.

The Congressional Budget Office (supposedly non-partisan) estimates that in just a few years the average cost to every family of four will be $6,800 per year. No one is excluded. However, once the lower classes feel the pinch in their wallets, you can be sure that these voters will get a tax refund (even if they pay no taxes at all) to offset this new cost. Thus, you Mr. And Mrs. Middle Class have to pay even more since additional tax dollars will be needed to bail out everyone else..

But wait. This awful bill (that no one in Congress has actually read) has many more surprises in it. Probably the worst one is this: A year from now you won’t be able to sell your house without some bureaucrat’s OK. Yes, you read that right.

The caveat (there always is a caveat) is that if you have enough money to make required major upgrades to your home, then you can sell it. But, if not, then forget it. Even pre-fabricated homes (“mobile homes”) are included. In effect, this bill prevents you from selling your home without the permission of the EPA administrator.

To get this permission, you will have to have the energy efficiency of your home measured. Then the government will tell you what your new energy efficiency requirement is and you will be required to make modifications to your home under the retrofit provisions of this Act, to comply with the new energy and water efficiency requirements.

Then you will have to get your home measured again and get a license (called a “label” in the Act) that must be posted on your property to show what your efficiency rating is; sort of like the Energy Star
efficiency rating label on your refrigerator or air conditioner. If you don’t get a high enough rating, you can’t sell.

And, the EPA administrator is authorized to raise the standards every year, even above the automatic energy efficiency increases built into the Act. The EPA administrator, appointed by the President, will run the Cap & Trade program (AKA the “American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009”) and is authorized to make any future changes to the regulations and standards he/she alone determines to be in the government’s best interest. Requirements are set low initially so the bill will pass Congress. Then the Administrator can set new standards every year.

The Act itself contains annual required increases in energy efficiency for private and commercial residences and buildings. However, the EPA administrator can set higher standards at any time.

Sect. 202 – Building Retrofit Program mandates a national retrofit program to increase the energy efficiency of all existing homes across America .

Beginning one year after enactment of the Act, you won’t be able to sell your home unless you retrofit it to comply with its energy and water efficiency standards. You had better sell soon, because the standards will be raised each year and will be really hard (expen$ive) to meet in a few years. Oh, goody!

The Act allows the government to give you a grant of several thousand dollars to comply with the retrofit program requirements IF you meet certain energy efficiency levels. But, wait, the State can set
additional requirements on who qualifies to receive the grants. You should expect requirements such as “can’t have an income of more than $50K per year”, “home selling price can’t be more than $125K”, or
anything else to target the upper middle class (that includes YOU?) and prevent you from qualifying for the grants.

Most of us won’t get a dime and will have to pay the entire cost of the retrofit out of our own pockets. More transfer of wealth, more “change you can believe in.” Sect. 204 – Building Energy Performance Labeling Program establishes a labeling program that for each individual residence will identify the achieved energy efficiency performance for “at least 90 percent of the residential market within 5 years after the date of the enactment of this Act.”

This means that within 5 years 90% of all residential homes in the U.S. must be measured and labeled. The EPA administrator will get $50M each year to enforce the labeling program. The Secretary of the Department of Energy will get an additional $20M each year to help the EPA. Some of this money will, of course, be spent on coming up with tougher standards each year…

Oh, the label will be like a license for your car. You will be required to post the label in a conspicuous location in your home and will not be allowed to sell your home without having this label. And, just like your car license, you will probably be required to get a new label every so often – maybe every year.
But, the government estimates the cost of measuring the energy efficiency of your home should only cost about $200 each time. Remember what they said about the auto smog inspections when they first started: that in California ? It would only cost $15. That was when the program started. Now the cost is about $50 for the inspection and certificate.

Expect the same from the home labeling program. Sect. 304 – Greater Energy Efficiency in Building Codes establishes new energy efficiency guidelines for the National Building Code and mandates at 304(d) that one year after enactment of this Act, all state and local jurisdictions must adopt the National Building Code energy efficiency provisions or must obtain a certification from the federal government that their state and/or local codes have been brought into full compliance with the National Building Code energy efficiency standards.

CHECK OUT a few of the sites:
Cap and Trade: A License Required for your Home

HR2454 American Clean Energy & Security Act: bill.xpd? bill=h111- 2454

Cap & Trade A license required for your home:

Cap and trade is a license to cheat and steal: columns/oped_contributors/Cap-and-trade- is-a-license-to-cheat-and-steal-45371937.html

Cap and Trade: A License Required for your Home: