A significant proposal before Congress would require proposed energy code changes to be evaluated for their cost-effectiveness prior to inclusion in a code. The proposal before Congress designates simple payback as the principal basis for evaluating the cost-effectiveness of proposed energy code changes, but two other methods for determining cost-effectiveness are Life Cycle Cost (LCC) and Mortgage Cash-Flow (MCF).
Air pollution is a top concern for Utah citizens. So is financial stability. Improving our air quality while saving money for Utahns is a win-win opportunity. This summer, decision-makers will be voting whether or not to adopt up-to-date building energy codes that will help new homes and buildings constructed in Utah cut energy waste, lower air pollution and reduce Utahns’ energy bills.
Today, the Alliance to Save Energy and the Energy Efficient Codes Coalition announced the release of a landmark calculator that state air quality offices can utilize to estimate the carbon emission savings from state adoption and enforcement of the most recent building energy codes. The most recent 2012 and 2015 versions of the International Energy Conservation Codes (IECC) have boosted the efficiency of new home and commercial building construction by 38% and 28%, respectively, over 2006 requirements.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) determined last week that the adoption of the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for single family homes and ASHRAE 90.1-2007 for multifamily buildings will have zero negative impact on the affordability and availability of certain HUD- and USDA-assisted housing.
More regional energy efficiency organizations are examining commercial construction data to gain insights into the commercial construction trends and the economic impact of building energy code adoption and implementation on the construction trends. Raw construction data on permits can help stakeholders understand what kind of impact newer state-level energy code adoption and implementation have on the market and communities at local and state-level.
This op-ed highlights the results of the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance’s (SEEA) recent codes research, confirming that the adoption of stronger energy codes across the Southeast has no adverse effect on commercial construction activity. In Georgia, when the state adopted the 2009 IECC with Georgia State Supplements and Amendments in 2011, it saw the largest ever number of activated construction permits.
In June, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a historic plan under the Clean Air Act’s Section 111(d) to significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the nation’s largest source: existing power plants. Because 71 percent of America’s electricity is consumed by residential and commercial buildings, building energy codes – which have proven to be among the most cost effective measures to reduce carbon emissions – should be a prominent part of the menu of options that states can include in the State Compliance Plans they file with EPA. Unfortunately, EPA’s proposed plan doesn’t name specific demand reduction measures, like energy efficiency, that would be eligible for emission credits, let alone cite building energy codes as an option for state compliance plans.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Building America research program has been a source of innovations in residential building energy performance, durability, quality, affordability and comfort for nearly 20 years. This world-class research program partners with industry (including many of the top U.S. homebuilders) to bring cutting-edge innovations and resources to market.
The votes that will have the most profound impact on national energy and environmental policy this year were not held in Washington or a state capital, but by governmental officials assembled by the International Code Council (ICC) in Charlotte, NC,” said William Fay, Executive Director of the broad-based Energy Efficient Codes Coalition (EECC).