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.
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.
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.
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).
With hard-fought efficiency gains at stake, the U.S. Conference of Mayors voted unanimously to encourage municipal support for all eligible code officials to attend the ICC’s Final Action Hearings this October in Atlantic City to support continued efficiency gains for America’s model energy code, the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). The local and state code and other officials voting at the hearings will consider amendments to the 2012 IECC)that will become the 2015 IECC. The IECC is recognized in federal law as America’s model energy code and is adopted in some form by nearly every state.
Alliance to Save Energy President Kateri Callahan announced that the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA), the Alliance’s wholly-owned subsidiary created to advance energy efficiency in the Southeast, will become a standalone entity on January 1, 2014. Callahan made the announcement about the future of SEEA during the Alliance’s EE Global Forum held in Washington, DC.
A long time ago in a first term far away, there was the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), a.k.a the Stimulus. As explained by the DOE, the ARRA section on State Energy Program funding included a statutory provision (Section 410) linking SEP funding to building energy code adoption and enforcement. As a condition of accepting the ARRA funding, the states provided assurances through governor’s letters indicating their state would comply with the terms of Section 410.
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).