People can now voice their opinions on the Federal Housing Financial Agency (FHFA) on proposed changes to rules governing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s “Duty to Serve” Underserved Markets, reports Scott Cooney for CleanTechnica.

The public comment period gives people the opportunity to “sound off regarding the incorporation of a critical element into buyer disclosures: the efficiency of a home.” Utility costs in a home may be unpredictable and for homeowners without much of a cushion of savings, it’s clear that these fluctuations have a very noticeable effect on their ability to make mortgage payments.

According to an Institute for Market Transformation report in 2013, owners of energy-efficient homes had a 33% less chance of foreclosure than owners of inefficient homes. Robert Sahadi, director of energy efficiency finance policy at IMT at the time of the report, said, “Right now the lending industry is pretty much a function of Government Sponsored Enterprises,” (GSEs, which basically means Fannie and Freddie). “Ninety-five percent of all single family is going through those agencies, and they are pretty much doing whatever the agency guidelines suggest. So at this point we really have to get those agency guidelines to incorporate energy efficiency.”

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