Do Energy Codes Work?

Field study photo
Preliminary results from the largest residential energy code field study ever conducted in the U.S. show they do. By Ryan Meres, IMT Last year, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that eight states would be part of a three-year Residential Energy Code Field Study. Once completed, the study will provide an unprecedented opportunity to develop new strategies for education, training, and outreach for improving the energy efficiency of single-family homes, as well as a measurement of...
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Homebuyer Demand for Energy Codes

Happy family
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 th...
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DOE Issues Final Determination On The 2015 IECC

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. With the final determination established, each state is now req...
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My View: Utah Needs New Energy Codes That Make Buildings, Homes More Efficient

By David Brems and Kevin Emerson via Deseret News 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. The average Utah home wastes far too much energy becau...
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New Homes Must Meet 2009 IECC to Qualify For Federal Mortgage Insurance

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 the 2007 edition of ASHRAE 90.1 for multifamily buildings will have zero negative impact on the affordability and availability of certain HUD- and USDA-assisted housing, specified in section 481 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). 2009 IECC and A...
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DOE’s Three Year Residential Energy Code Field Study

In September 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced eight states that would participate in a three year Residential Energy Code Field Study. The states include: Pennsylvania, Maryland, Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas and Texas. Through the project, DOE plans to establish a sufficient data set to represent statewide construction trends and detect significant changes in energy use from training, education and outreach activities. The study comprises three main ...
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Energy Codes Preserve Homeowner Health And Comfort

Broken joint of pipe
Problems like leaky ducts, oversized HVAC systems, and uninsulated hot water pipes negatively affect more than just energy consumption. By Ryan Meres Following up on my last blog post in which I covered some of the non-energy benefits of complying with up-to-date building energy codes, in this post, I’ll highlight a few more important areas where the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), the most widely adopted energy code for residential construction, aligns with other building saf...
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Highlights of the 2015 IECC Residential Code Changes

Written by Ryan Meres Looking at what makes the 2015 IECC different from the 2012 version, the biggest change that will affect builders is the addition of an Energy Rating Index (ERI) compliance path. This article will outline some other important changes. Five of the major changes in the 2015 IECC that will affect new home construction include specifying required inspections; revised requirements for vertical access doors; a new requirement for combustion closets; revisions to the buildin...
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Energy Codes Get It Done

If every state began 2015 with the 2012 IECC for residential and commercial construction and moved from 60% compliance to 100% compliance by 2030, how much would the cumulative source energy savings, energy cost savings, and carbon emission reductions be in 2030? Using the energy data provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) and BCAP’s Energy Code Calculator, BCAP calculated the estimated savings and reductions in each state. Cumulative State Savings (view full-size ve...
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A note from Sam Rashkin: It’s the Window Stupid…

Written by Sam Rashkin, DOE I have personally delivered over 25 zero energy ready home (ZERH) training classes across the country. Consistently, one of the biggest “ah-hah” moments in the four-hour course is the huge impact windows have on overall wall assembly performance. Even with just a 15% window-to-floor-area ratio, windows represent a giant thermal hole that disproportionately upsets all the good work you do on the insulated wall assemblies. Who knew? Below is a table I develo...
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