New Energy Efficient Code Benefits Building Owners and Occupants
|November 3, 2010||Posted by Sandie under Announcements, News, Real Estate|
Historic gains were made in the energy efficiency of new homes and buildings at the Final Action Hearings for the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). At the hearings, building officials voted for a new model energy code that will likely achieve a 30% boost in energy efficiency. The gains in energy efficiency were achieved with a push from the U.S. Dept. of Energy, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, National Assn. of State Energy Officials, Congress, and broad-based Energy Efficient Codes Coalition (EECC).
A Washington, DC-based nonprofit, The Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) also had a hand in promoting the energy efficiency code proposals. The IMT worked with the EECC and educated DC area officials about the 2012 IECC proposals and the benefits of energy efficient buildings and codes.
Cliff Majersik, Executive Director of IMT, was enthusiastic about the vote. “This is a big deal! Most new buildings are built to the code –no better and no worse. These changes to the model energy code will slash pollution from power plants and furnaces while saving Americans billions of dollars in energy bills.”
The new code will benefit consumers, industry, and America’s future. It addresses both residential and commercial building construction. Improvements have been added from “The 30% Solution 2012,” the EECC’s comprehensive package, and other stakeholder proposals.
Improvements in residential home construction will entail:
- Better sealing homes to reduce heating and cooling losses
- Improving the efficiency of windows and skylights
- Increasing the insulation of ceilings, walls and foundations
- Reducing wasted energy and water in piping by improving hot-water distribution systems
- Improved lighting efficiency
Commercial improvements will be comparable to those of residential homes, but will also include:
- Continuous air barriers and daylighting controls
- Offering designers and developers a choice between three different paths to increased energy efficiency: committing to the use of renewable energy, incorporating more efficient HVAC equipment, improving the efficiency of lighting systems used
“In the 10 years I’ve been attending ICC code hearings, I have never seen a larger single stride taken for energy efficiency,” said Dick Meyer, Building Codes Program Director at IMT. “I am so proud to have played a role in this historic moment, which has so greatly improved the efficiency of our residential and commercial building codes.”
One of the most concrete benefits of the energy codes is the monetary savings for both building owners and their occupants. Efficiency improvements in building codes reduce monthly energy bills and generate positive cash flow that is greater than the cost of those improvements.
According to a study by the U.S. DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, making an average home 30% more energy efficient yields $511 a year in savings after taking into consideration the cost of those improvements. The benefits of energy efficient buildings will last for generations, and continue to benefit home and building owners into the future.
According to Caroline Keicher, Program Associate at IMT, “The average homeowner spends more than $2000 a year on energy bills, more than what they pay for home insurance or property taxes. These are not theoretical savings. This is real money in the pockets of homeowners and a critical step toward making home ownership more affordable.”
Not only do energy efficient buildings benefit home and building owners, but they also contribute to a marked reduction of US energy consumption. A reduction in the national level of energy consumption stabilizes energy prices for businesses and producers, eliminates the need for new power plants, and improves national energy security through a decreased demand for energy.
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