The home builder lobby is mobilizing its 140,000 members against state and local efforts to save energy and ease the transition to cleaner technologies. …Since poorly designed and insulated buildings tend to leak and waste energy — one reason homes account for nearly one-fifth of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions — climate advocates say the home builders’ repeated victories will have a lasting impact, locking in practices that could hurt consumers and the planet for decades. There’s no debate that boosting the energy efficiency of new homes often increases upfront costs, but the builders appear to be inflating the numbers. A federal study found that North Carolina’s proposed code update would have added at most about $6,500 to the price of a newly built home, not $20,400. According to the analysis, these changes would have paid for themselves through lower power bills. [to access the full story a Washington Post subscription is required]