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Borrowers with energy-efficient homes less likely to default

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Borrowers with energy-efficient homes are significantly less likely to default, according to a study by the University of South Carolina Center for Community Capital. Funded by the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), the study found that default risks are on average 32 percent lower for borrowers with energy-efficient homes that met "Energy Star" guidelines.The study examined 71,000 homes and accounted for loan, household and neighborhood characteristics, IMT said in a blog post. Homes earn Energy Star status by meeting guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  IMT said that the results of the study argue that, "the lower risks associated with energy efficiency should be taken into consideration when underwriting mortgages."A fact sheet on the study adds: "The findings have significant policy implications: Lenders might allow for lower risk premiums that are associated with interest rates, a more flexible credit profile, or a hig...