Make affordable housing energy-efficient! July 26, 2023

This action alert is no longer active

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) oversee federally subsidized housing nationwide. As such, they are required to meet several standards, including those for energy efficiency.

These agencies have fallen behind on their energy efficiency standards, using codes from 2007 to 2009. Much has changed in the past 16 years, so it is high time they adopt new energy efficiency standards.

These new standards will improve the health of residents living in federally subsidized housing, increase socioeconomic equity, improve overall affordability, and decrease carbon emissions that contribute to climate change. All of this would be possible for the 168,000 homes that are predicted to be constructed each year under these agencies’ jurisdiction.

According to several new studies, adopting the most recently published energy codes would not impact the affordability nor the availability of housing.

It’s not often that we ask you to send a comment to HUD and USDA, but it’s just what is needed today! We’ve put together some helpful suggestions for starting points so you can send a powerful statement while making the comment your own.

Energy efficiency should be available to everyone, not just the well-off. Thank you for taking action.

Take Action

Everyone deserves to live in an energy efficient household regardless of income. Submit your comment today to support HUD and USDA’s proposal. Please tell them that they should enact this rule on the fastest possible timeline.

Please personalize your comments while following the format below, utilizing the talking points as you see fit. Ideally, you would share a personal anecdote or reasoning for why this proposal is important to you. You must put your comment in your own words. Each comment must be unique — exact copies of the same comment are prohibited. Your name will only be visible on the docket if you opt for it to be. Anonymous submissions are acceptable.

  1. Introduce yourself along with your interest in this rulemaking. Why does it matter to you personally, professionally, or otherwise?
  2. Explain why you are in support of this rule. Speak on what feels most important to you, based on the talking points provided below.
  3. Thank the agencies for their forthcoming work and make your support for the proposed rule explicit.

Deadline extended

The original deadline of July 17 has been extended to August 7. Comments must be submitted by August 7, 2023.

You may draw on the following text. You don’t need to raise all these points; select those that matter most to you. You must put your comment in your own words.

Sample Language:

Dear Sir or Madame,

My name is ________, (feel free to add credentials here) and I would like to express my support for Docket No. FR-6271-N-01 as presented by HUD and USDA.

  1. This rule has the ability to improve the health of residents moving into newly constructed, federally subsidized housing.
    1. Decreasing the use of methane in homes will decrease the likelihood of developing respiratory diseases, such as asthma.
    2. This is especially critical for lowincome people, as they often face health inequities due to environmental factors.
  2. Greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced through this program.
    1. Efficiency upgrades and further electrification will decrease the demand for fossil fuels.
    2. Increasing energy efficiency will reduce stress on the power grid during peak times.
  3. The housing stock in question will remain affordable and available under the proposed rule.
    1. As evidenced by studies conducted for HUD and USDA, affordability and availability will remain consistent for the housing in question.
    2. In addition, the agencies, construction teams, and residents will see decreased costs over time.
  4. We will see increased socioeconomic equity as energy costs are lowered.
    1. Energy burdens, or the price paid for energy costs as a portion of income, are higher for low-income renters and homeowners. People with disabilities, elderly people, as well as Black, Hispanic, and Native American people living in low-income housing are also more likely to have high energy burdens.
    2. This rule could alleviate the financial strain of energy burdens for several vulnerable groups.

For these reasons, I support this rule and ask HUD and USDA to move forward with it on the fastest possible timeline for the benefit of all communities.


Name, City, State (or you may submit anonymously)

Please copy and paste your comment here once it is written in your own words. Comments will be accepted until August 7, 2023. Thank you for speaking up for energy efficiency in affordable housing!

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