There is currently an effort being made to include the adoption of the 2021 Energy Codes into HB 1059 (Floor Amendment 2024-1300h). The New Hampshire Home Builders Association (NHHBA) strongly opposes Floor Amendment 2024-1300h and the adoption of this Green Energy Tax on new home construction.

The discussion around the adoption of the proposal has not focused on whether this will raise costs on new home construction, but rather by how much. As such, the NHHBA has conducted a survey among our membership to determine a New Hampshire-specific estimation of the increased costs that home buyers will experience if the 2021 Energy Codes were to be adopted.

The results of our survey show that costs will vary depending on the size of the development project and the home builder, as larger developments and larger builders have higher buying power for supplies. Smaller builders and smaller developments will bear the larger burden of adopting the new codes. Estimates are based on a modest 2000 sq. foot home.

A summary of the results of the survey:

  • Increased costs for larger builders would range from $12,000 – $15,000 per home, not including Net Zero Homes.
  • Increased costs for smaller builders would range from $18,000 – $20,000 per home, not including Net Zero Homes
  • Increased costs for Net Zero homes would range from $84,000 – $93,000 per home

As the numbers show, these are significant cost increases that would disproportionately affect smaller builders at a time when New Hampshire needs every home builder that we can get.

If the 2021 IECC Energy codes are adopted, we anticipate higher costs for homes, delays in building, and a worsening housing crisis in the Granite State.

Another factor to consider is that most home purchases are financed.  At current rates (7.5 percent), a $12,000 – $20,000 increase in home construction cost for a non-Net Zero home will cost between $30,240 – $50,400 over the life of a standard 30-year fixed loan, and an astronomic $211,320 – $234,000 for a Net Zero home.

Why all this discussion about Net Zero homes? Included in the 2021 Energy Codes is Appendix A which would allow local communities or the state to mandate that homes be built to a Net Zero energy standard. That means every home will need to be built with expensive geothermal systems, solar arrays, smart meters, energy storage batteries, motion detecting light switches, air handling systems and additional insulation in order to have a net zero energy impact.

With our state experiencing a major housing crisis and lack of inventory, now is not the time to add expensive and unnecessary mandates that will increase the cost and time for new home construction.

The New Hampshire Home Builders Association has thus determined that opposing the 2021 IECC Energy Code is critically important in expanding the supply of attainable, affordable, and workforce housing along with the continued economic growth of New Hampshire.