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Philip Henderson, Senior Financial Policy Specialist, Washington, DC

Philip Henderson
Investing to improve the energy efficiency of houses and buildings makes sense for many reasons, including increasing the value of the property, improving the utility system, and reducing toxic pollution from power plants. And it makes sense for many entities to participate. But understanding the various costs, benefits, and values at stake is often difficult. I’ve worked for years to bring innovation to the mortgage finance industry, including at two dynamic technology companies. At NRDC, we are working to bring innovation and resolve to tackle these important opportunities.

Recent Posts

Will the giants of housing finance become "green" giants?

Posted January 28, 2016 by Philip Henderson

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Change does not come easily at the three large housing finance agencies - the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac. But all three institutions, in their multifamily lending operations, have shown admirable willingness to adopt new policies...continued

Feeling proud of the City of New Orleans... for smart energy policy.

Posted December 10, 2015 by Philip Henderson

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Residents of New Orleans famously love their city for all its color, life, soul, music, and rich heritage. The New Orleans City Council took action today that gives residents one more reason to feel good about the future of the...continued

Could high-efficiency homes turn a mortgage backed security into a green bond?

Posted October 9, 2015 by Philip Henderson

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Could mortgage backed securities (MBS), backed by loans for high-efficiency houses, be the "impact investment" many investors are seeking? If so, the MBS, the "toxic asset" of the 2008 financial crisis, could become a virtuous "green bond." What are Green...continued

Utilities should stop driving with the brakes on! Give building owners information on energy use.

Posted September 28, 2015 by Philip Henderson

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Many electric utilities have contradictory policies in place. It's like they are trying to drive forward while pushing on the brakes. On October 8, 2015, Governor Brown of California signed into law a bill that cures the problem for California...continued

Simple message in Pope Francis's encyclical: our personal choices matter.

Posted September 22, 2015 by Philip Henderson

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Pope Francis's recent Encyclical Letter on the Environment asks us to consider our responsibility for the toxic pollution we create. With the pope's visit to the United States this week, I re-read the encyclical and made an interesting discovery. Before...continued

White House: Two initiatives at the sweet spot of energy and finance

Posted August 24, 2015 by Philip Henderson

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The White House today announced several initiatives aimed at helping households benefit from energy efficiency improvements and solar power, including two initiatives at the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) -- the agency that insures mortgages for American homeowners. Consumer finance is...continued

The President's new solar initiative for all, and Energy Efficiency for All

Posted July 7, 2015 by Philip Henderson

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America has been in a solar energy boom. Solar installations have increased over 400 percent since 2010. As usage has grown, the cost of solar energy has dropped dramatically, further fueling adoption and growth in rooftop solar, commercial projects, and...continued

Commending Fannie Mae for innovation... in energy efficiency!

Posted February 27, 2015 by Philip Henderson

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Some people might be surprised to learn that Fannie Mae -- a company that purchases mortgage loans and sells mortgage-backed securities -- is an innovator in energy efficiency. Its new policy to offer a discount on loans for more efficient...continued

HUD on the right track with new energy efficiency initiative for affordable housing

Posted January 29, 2015 by Philip Henderson

If you look into the new energy efficiency initiatives announced today by the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), you'll make an important discovery. Everybody knows investing to improve the energy efficiency of buildings can be a great...continued

Innovations in energy efficiency finance -- new FHA rule points the way ahead for 2014

Posted February 5, 2014 by Philip Henderson

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A simple new rule of the Federal Housing Administration should be counted as a recent innovation in energy efficiency finance: For a homebuyer to qualify for an FHA-insured mortgage to purchase a newly built house, the house must meet the...continued

Looking back at 2013, NYSERDA's innovation in efficiency financing stands out

Posted January 2, 2014 by Philip Henderson

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It’s that time of year – time to look back at 2013. One energy efficiency deal stands out:  In August, the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency quietly sold a pool of efficiency loans to investors. Selling loans...continued

Rural electric co-ops have new resource to help customers save

Posted December 5, 2013 by Philip Henderson

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While compelling stories about energy efficiency often invoke images of high-performance skyscrapers or extol policies of cities like Philadelphia and Chicago, America’s rural electric co-ops serve millions of households and businesses with electricity and related services and can help their...continued

New evidence that more efficient houses are more valuable houses

Posted November 22, 2013 by Philip Henderson

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When insurance companies offer discounts for lower risk customers, you can bet it's based on reliable evidence. Think lower car insurance rates for drivers with no speeding tickets, and discounted life insurance for non-smokers. Genworth, the large private mortgage insurance...continued

Cut Energy Waste By Running Buildings Better

Posted October 21, 2013 by Philip Henderson

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  Most people know that new light fixtures can reduce energy waste in office buildings, but even the experts may be surprised to learn just how much energy can be saved by running office buildings better. NRDC’s new report on...continued

Sensible leadership from Senators Bennet and Isakson to correct mortgage flaw

Posted June 7, 2013 by Philip Henderson

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Once again, Senators Michael Bennet and Johnny Isakson have teamed up to show there is still leadership and good sense in the U.S. Congress.  They introduced a bill (the SAVE Act, S.1106) that would correct an important flaw in the mortgage process...continued

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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