HUD and USDA prioritize health with updated energy efficiency standards April 25, 2024

PSR salutes the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture for their newly adopted, updated Minimum Energy Standards for single and multifamily homes. These new energy efficiency standards will increase resilience of residential building stock, reduce carbon emissions for new construction, and provide cost savings for residents. According to HUD, the energy codes adopted are estimated to result in carbon emission reduction equivalent to taking 46,000 cars off the road every year for 30 years.

Standards that reduce harmful emissions from buildings are crucial to public health, as building pollution contains dangerous air pollutants such as particulate matter, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides (NOx). These pollutants contribute to premature mortality and increased risk of illness in children and adults, including heart disease and stroke, asthma, COPD, lung cancer, type 2 diabetes, premature birth and respiratory infection. We also know that air pollution and its associated health impacts are not distributed equitably. People living in once-redlined communities, typically people of color and people with low income, face an undue burden from these emissions.

PSR hopes these new standards will encourage continued progress on building decarbonization. The finalized standards are more health-protective and save residents money, but they still allow for combustion in the home. Replacing the indoor combustion of fossil fuels with an all-electric standard will keep the people living in these homes safer and healthier, while also dramatically reducing society’s dependence on fossil fuels. We’d like to see a standard of this nature enacted as soon as possible.

  • Issues/Category

  • Resource Type