How these 22 cities could shape the future of solar photovoltaics

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The year 2030 is a meaningful one across the world of energy efficiency and renewable energy. The Architecture 2030 challenge aims to have new construction and renovations be carbon neutral by this date. Many countries have made pledges to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions on this same timeframe. And last month, the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative announced their own 2030 targets: a further reduction in the cost of solar photovoltaic (PV). As a SunShot Initiative awardee, BCAP has hit the ground running to discover the best cities around the country for training design professionals on solar PV.

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Where Are They Now? New Hampshire

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In 2010, BCAP created a list of Places to Watch that were making strides in enacting energy efficient building codes. Now, we are going back to these nine jurisdictions to track their progress and see what other innovations they’ve added six years later. We will be looking for other places to watch in the future as cities lead the way with sustainability plans and energy saving goals. BCAP identified New Hampshire as one its Places to Watch for two major reasons: the state’s timely adoption of the most recent model energy code at that time, the 2009 IECC; and their Energy Code Compliance Roadmap, designed as a guide towards 90% compliance with the existing code by 2017.

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Where Are They Now? Santa Fe, NM

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In 2010, BCAP created a list of Places to Watch that were making strides in enacting energy efficient building codes. Now, we are going back to these nine jurisdictions to track their progress and see what other innovations they’ve added six years later. We will be looking for other places to watch in the future as cities lead the way with sustainability plans and energy saving goals. BCAP identified Santa Fe as a place to watch due to their residential green code adoption, citywide sustainability plan, and Water Conservation Plan.

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New Energy Efficiency and Green Appraisal Resource for REALTORS®

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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.

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Your Vote is Needed – and Now It’s Easier Than Ever

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Every three years, hundreds of building industry members from states across the nation convene to develop the next U.S. model building energy code via a consensus process held by the International Code Council. The process, which includes code officials, architects, engineers, product manufacturers, builders and energy efficiency advocates, is designed to ensure that modern-day technology and building practices are incorporated into the current model building code. This year, some members of the residential code committee were more focused on lowering costs for home builders than improving energy efficiency of homes. As a result, the 2018 IECC has the potential to be significantly weaker than its previous iterations.

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Wins and Shortfalls for Energy Codes

On April 20th, the Senate passed a bipartisan S. 2012, which sponsors hope will become the first broad energy bill in almost a decade. In addition to electric grid modernization, the Energy Policy Modernization Act supports energy efficiency in buildings. S. 2012 directs the Secretary of Energy to “encourage and support the adoption of building energy codes…that meet or exceed the model building energy codes, or achieve equivalent or greater savings, and support full compliance with the state and local codes”. According to the Alliance to Save Energy, this bill will result in $60 billion in net savings for consumers by 2030.

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Comprehensive State Energy Plans: A Brief Comparison

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A majority of states have developed comprehensive energy plans that provide recommendations for increasing efficiencies across numerous sectors. As buildings account for around 40% of national energy consumption, one aspect of these state plans should be building energy codes. This article will provide a brief overview of how several recently published state plans are addressing building concerns.

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New Report Compares Cost-Effectiveness Methodologies As Congress Considers Requirements For Energy Code Updates

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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).

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Report On Florida Circuit Rider Program Now Available

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Energy code circuit riders are in-field experts that meet with specific individuals to address code compliance and enforcement needs. Circuit riders travel to individual jurisdictions to provide tailored technical assistance and resources to support energy code compliance. The Florida program aimed to develop a snapshot of code enforcement in the field, and identify needs for future targeted technical assistance to strengthen enforcement of Florida’s commercial code. This report from SEEA is the first in a series documenting the experience and findings from the Circuit Rider’s work in Florida.

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Forthcoming 2018 International Green Construction Code (IgCC) To Consolidate ICC And ASHRAE Standards

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In a deal nearly two years in the making, the International Code Council (ICC) and ASHRAE have signed the final agreement that outlines each organization’s role in the development and maintenance of the new version of the International Green Construction Code (IgCC).

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Happy Energy Action Month!

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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.

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BCAP Movers And Shakers

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In September, BCAP President Maureen Guttman was elected chairman of the Governing Committee of ICC’s Sustainability Membership Council at the International Code Council 2014 Annual Conference in Fort Lauderdale. Program Director Maria Ellingson has been elected to serve as a member of the RESNET Standards Development Committee 900 on Quality Assurance.

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CdpACCESS: A New, Easy Way To Get Your Vote Counted

Last November, ICC rolled out is much-anticipated solution – a remote voting system called “cdpACCESS.” The new cloud-based online tool has the game-changing potential to broaden participation by GMVRs to literally tens of thousands, a far cry from the hundreds who have cast final action votes on ICC’s 15 I-Codes.

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HERS and the IECC Performance Path

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The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory analyzed the relationship between the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index and the traditional simulation-based Performance Path used in the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). These findings will be important to be aware of as states and municipalities begin to consider adoption of the 2015 IECC, which includes a HERS-like rating system as an alternative compliance path.

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Taking Aim At Barriers To Innovations From Codes And Standards

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U.S. Department of Energy’s Building America Program is taking aim at barriers to innovations from codes and standards. Building America will release Code Compliance Briefs to facilitate the conversation between builders, installers, and code officials when an innovative product or technique is used in the field. The intent for Building America Code Compliance Briefs is to provide additional information to help ensure innovative measures will be deemed in acceptance with the code or standard. By providing the same information about proven innovations to all interested parties, the Building America Solution Center will facilitate code compliance for innovations at the time of plan review and field inspection, avoiding compliance problems and costly delays.

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Going for the Next 20 Years

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BCAP is pleased to announce the realization of an important milestone in our long and successful history. Beginning June 1, 2014, BCAP ended its status as a program of the Alliance to Save Energy and became a stand-alone organization, receiving fiscal sponsorship and non-profit status from a new partner, the Trust for Conservation Innovation (TCI). Read more about the past and future of BCAP.

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Code Officials Become Energy Code Ambassadors In The State Of Texas

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The South-central Partnership for Energy Efficiency as a Resource (SPEER) and BCAP provided thirteen building code professionals advanced training to become certified Energy Code Ambassadors in the state of Texas. These experienced code enforcement professionals have stepped forward to offer their expertise and assistance to other building departments and the construction industry, to assure that construction of buildings and homes comply with the energy code, providing greater energy efficiency.

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