BCAP is proud to announce a new resource for REALTORS® developed by BCAP, the Appraisal Institute (AI) and the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). As homes are increasingly listed with energy efficient features in Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) around the country, it is important for real estate professionals to both understand the benefits of energy efficiency, and how to best communicate with clients about efficiency. When they understand the impact that efficiency upgrades can have on new or existing homes, real estate professionals can advise and refer clients to additional actions they can take to further improve home performance.
In partnership with the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE), BCAP will develop solar-related educational materials and provide targeted training to design professionals, including architects and engineers, in 22 key metropolitan areas across the nation. The nearly $800,000 award spans two years and is designed to give these professionals the tools they need to incorporate solar into their blueprints and designs.
Earlier this month, the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) published their state scorecard rankings. Out of a possible seven points in the building energy codes category, here are the results for how each state fared.
Each year, K-12 schools spend around $8 billion on energy nationwide. They use 10% of the energy used by all commercial buildings and are the third biggest energy user of all commercial building types (U.S. EPA, 2011). What if these schools were built to be more energy-efficient and sustainable? What if building and operating high-performance school buildings were a natural part of the school design and construction practice?
The Department of Energy has announced findings on energy savings from adopting and complying with the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Compared with residential buildings meeting the 2012 IECC, the 2015 edition achieves national source energy savings of approximately 0.87 percent, site energy savings of approximately 0.98 percent, and energy cost savings of 0.73 percent of residential building energy consumption.
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.
At BCAP’s Annual Energy Codes Stakeholders Meeting, several key threads emerged from the wealth of energy code knowledge and discourse that unfolded during the day. As we as a community push forward to develop new strategies for better buildings in the coming years, we should also work to deploy the information and policies already at our disposal.
Paul Torcellini, principal engineer with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, discusses how we can achieve zero-energy buildings by integrating the cost of energy efficiency into design decisions.
October is the designated national month for energy efficiency. As President Obama states in his 2012 proclamation, we must “recognize this month by working together to achieve greater energy security, a more robust economy, and a healthier environment for our children.” Energy efficiency is considered to be the US’s greatest energy resource, and it is never too late to take action on this issue.
Earlier this month, thousands of energy professionals from around the globe gathered for the 2014 World Energy Engineering Congress (WEEC), the 37th event of its kind. It was presented by the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) and featured over 250 speakers. The WEEC conference is the largest gathering of its kind, representing the culmination of remarkable efforts towards a greener, cleaner future. Ideas and products showcased that Wednesday and Thursday worked at both ends of the energy life cycle: finding smarter ways of acquiring energy and then getting the most productivity with the least amount of waste.
The Midwest has a long history of supporting energy efficiency. In 1983, Minnesota was the first state to pilot a statewide energy efficiency program. Since then six Midwestern states have adopted some form of an energy savings target, also known as an Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (EEPS). These policies have spurred significant investment in energy efficiency – dollars that are spent locally to create jobs and support plant retrofits, home weatherization, capital improvements in public facilities, small business energy efficiency improvements, and education campaigns among other initiatives.
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.
Looking back at this year’s green projects, it seems architects should have placed greater concern on energy code compliance.
If you were going to install a renewable energy system on your house, you would first make sure your house was as energy efficient as possible. At minimum, you would want your house to meet current model energy codes and you would probably go above and beyond the code. If you were the federal government providing incentives for energy efficiency and renewable energy systems to states, wouldn’t you expect that states adopt a minimum energy efficiency code? And yet the federal government barely gets involved with matters involving state energy codes, which are the only means states have to assure some minimum level of energy efficiency in all new construction.
Sound energy policy prevailed as local and state governmental officials rejected dozens of builder-sponsored home efficiency rollback proposals in a three-day marathon meeting convened by the International Code Council (ICC) to develop the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).