According to an article in The Oregonian, Portland, Oregon, is considering a carbon fee and inspection requirement that would tax builders hundreds of dollars for each new home that is not extremely energy efficient. Builders who construct buildings that save at least 45% more energy over Oregon code requirements would be paid cash rewards. Each new home sold would also be required to undergo an energy efficiency report be done by home inspectors.
"This is obviously an ambitious and potentially controversial undertaking, but with the new urgency and call to action on issues around global warming, this is the type of policy that Portland needs to be a leader," said City Commissioner Dan Saltzman.
The proposal will go before voters in January, and if passed, will go into effect in 2010. While this proposal will take significant innovation and work on the part of developers and builders, it is the type of measure that will encourage good building practices. Kudos to Portland!