Energy Efficient Codes Coalition
Today’s model building energy codes – which have the potential to cut utility bills for new homes and commercial buildings by tens of thousands of dollars and help stabilize power grids over their long lives – have an interesting by-product: their enhanced efficiency also reduces carbon emissions from power plants. EPA’s Clean Power Plan sets state-specific carbon emission targets and offers states four building blocks they can use to develop their menu of strategies to meet its carbon emission reduction target from existing power plants.“Using electricity more efficiently” is one of those building blocks. By adopting and enforcing better building energy codes, states can significantly cut the electricity needs of new and renovated homes and commercial buildings and reduce emissions and utility bills as well. Building energy codes already align with the criteria EPA will use to evaluate emission reduction measures, making them a logical component in State Compliance Plans:
- Enforceability. Building codes are the law in all 50 states, with mandatory compliance inspected by local and state officials, offering numerous options for states to “true-up” the emission reductions in their plans.
- Meeting Projected Emission Rates. Many of the construction measures set forth in building energy codes make permanent efficiency improvements that will reduce electricity consumption well beyond the Clean Power Plan’s timeframe. This calculator will help states make reasonable forward estimates of energy savings.
- Quantifiable, Verifiable Emission Reductions. Building energy codes are already eligible for and used in State Implementation Plans that reduce criteria pollutant emissions, and there is evidence that recent gains in building energy codes are working to stabilize electricity consumption. Existing building codes offer state air quality agencies a web of local code officials, state agencies, builders and others that could be engaged in the quantification of electricity – and the related emissions – reductions attributable to building energy efficiency gains.
- Developing a Clear Reporting Process. The extensive arena of code stakeholders provides state compliance plans with an existing avenue to engage and compile local enforcement monitoring and reporting, conduct compliance progress analyses, and set and verify the achievement of specific savings milestones…