An Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) is a mortgage that credits a home’s energy efficiency in the mortgage itself. EEMs give borrowers the opportunity to finance cost-effective, energy-saving measures as part of a single mortgage and stretch debt-to-income qualifying ratios on loans thereby allowing borrowers to qualify for a larger loan amount and a better, more energy-efficient home.
EEMs are typically used to purchase a new home that is already energy efficient such as an ENERGY STAR® qualified home.
There are also Energy Improvement Mortgages (EIMs), which are used to purchase existing homes that will have energy efficiency improvements made to them. EIMs allow borrowers to include the cost of energy-efficiency improvements to an existing home in the mortgage without increasing the down payment. EIMs allow the borrower to use the money saved in utility bills to finance energy improvements.
Both EEMs and EIMs typically require a home energy rating to provide the lender with the estimated monthly energy savings and the value of the energy efficiency measures — known as the Energy Savings Value.
EEMs (and EIMs) are sponsored by federally insured mortgage programs (FHA and VA) and the conventional secondary mortgage market (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac). Lenders can offer conventional EEMs, FHA EEMs, or VA EEMs.
Conventional Energy Efficient Mortgages
Conventional EEMs can be offered by lenders who sell their loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Conventional EEMs increase the purchasing power of buying an energy efficient home by allowing the lender to increase the borrower’s income by a dollar amount equal to the estimated energy savings. The Fannie Mae loan also adjusts the value of the home to reflect the value of the energy efficiency measures. For more information about Fannie Mae’s EEM you can call 1-800-7 FANNIE or visit Fanniemae.com to find a Fannie Mae-approved lender in your state.
FHA Energy Efficient Mortgages
FHA EEMs allow lenders to add 100 percent of the additional cost of cost-effective energy efficiency improvements to an already approved mortgage loan (as long as the additional costs do not exceed $4000 or 5 percent of the value of the home, up to a maximum of $8000, whichever is greater). No additional down payment is required, and the FHA loan limits won’t interfere with the process of obtaining the EEM. FHA EEMs are available for site-built as well as for manufactured homes. Information about the FHA EEM can be found at the FHA website at portal.hub.gov.
VA Energy Efficient Mortgages
The Veteran’s Administration (VA) EEM is available to qualified military personnel, reservists and veterans for energy improvements when purchasing an existing home. The VA EEM caps energy improvements at $3,000–$6,000. Borrowers should ask their lender about a VA EEM at the beginning of the lending process.
To learn more about EEMs talk to your mortgage lender or contact Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the FHA or the VA.