Consumer demand for energy efficiency is a topic energy code advocates need to understand. We want to know the answers to questions like “do consumers believe in conserving energy through increasing energy efficiency in their homes?” and “how much are consumers willing to pay for home improvements for efficiency?” so that we can make a stronger case for our support for energy efficient building codes. Recently, BCAP looked at four major consumer surveys and summarized their findings in a fact sheet. Although the surveys were conducted by various organizations, the findings led to a strikingly similar conclusion: Consumers want and expect energy efficiency when buying a new home.
Energy efficiency rang in the New Year with seven states implementing new and improved building energy codes. The 2015 IECC, the latest version of the energy code, is now enforced in Maryland and Vermont; the 2012 IECC is implemented in Idaho, Minnesota, and New York; and the 2009 IECC is used in Arkansas and Louisiana. Here are some key facts about the new state code updates.
New results from a statewide consumer survey in Idaho show that consumers there value energy efficiency in new homes and are willing to pay more for it. In addition, two out of three Idahoans agree that the state should adopt a state energy code consistent with national standards. The majority believe that energy efficient homes increase the resale value of a home.
In the wake of the Great Recession in 2009, Congress passed the Recovery Act to stimulate the national economy. Within that legislation, a pot of $3.1 billion in expanded State Energy Program (SEP) funding was linked to commitments from states to update their building energy codes and to develop plans to achieve greater rates of compliance by 2017. By January 2014, BCAP projects that about two of every three U.S. states will have implemented building energy codes that meet or exceed the energy efficiency of the model codes referenced by the Recovery Act – the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007. In finding methods of reaching these goals, a common best practice emerged: establishing a state Energy Code Compliance Collaborative.
On August 22, BCAP hosted an information sharing webinar on an emerging best practice in building energy codes: state Energy Code Compliance Collaboratives. A compliance collaborative is a forum for experts from diverse stakeholder groups impacted by energy codes to come together to work toward common interests and goals.