Omaha Residents Want Better Energy Codes

And 72% Would Pay More For It

A new survey found that Omaha residents overwhelmingly favor improved energy efficiency through updated energy codes for new homes and buildings. The study comes at a key time as Omaha’s City Council is set to vote on requiring greater energy efficiency in new homes, allowing homeowners to keep thousands of dollars in reduced energy bills as early as August.

The survey found the vast majority of residents – 72 percent – would be willing to pay more for a home that is more energy efficient. Further, 85 percent believe that homeowners have a right to a home that meets current up-to-date energy codes.

Other key findings:

  • 54% believe that energy codes help stimulate the economy
  • 69% agree the energy codes help energy bills become more affordable
  • 80% agree that energy codes make homes more comfortable to live in
  • 73% agree that energy codes ensures quality home construction

The Omaha City Council could vote as early as August 16 on whether to update the city’s building energy code for new homes. Energy codes require homebuilders ensure residential buildings meet minimum efficiency standards. The 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), which is being considered for adoption, is the most optimal building code to assure homes aren’t wasting energy or losing comfort.

Upgrading to the 2012 IECC will result in significant energy cost savings for homeowners in Omaha. The money saved each month on utility bills could be five times any additional mortgage payment needed to cover the added first-cost of energy saving features required by the 2012 code.

The study was conducted by the Omaha-based research firm MSR Group and surveyed 300 Omaha residents about their feeling toward energy codes in homes and buildings.