FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, November 5, 2010
Contact: Camellia Watkins 402-551-9480
Newly-Approved 2012 National Model Building Energy Code Boosts Energy-Efficiency by Thirty Percent
New standards for homes and commercial buildings will save homeowners money, reduce global warming pollution
Charlotte, NC – While most of America was emerged in the midterm elections, a group of dedicated American state, county, and city building and fire code officials voted Sunday on a series of proposals that increased energy efficiency standards for newly constructed homes and businesses by 30 percent. At the International Code Council (ICC) hearings, ICC members took part in one of the most important energy policy votes of the year. After two decades of modest energy efficiency gains, local government officials embraced the need for greater energy efficiency in new American buildings to move the country forward both economically and environmentally.
"The actions that our local and state officials took last week are a clear example of municipalities showing the federal government how to lead by example," stated Camellia Watkins, Sierra Club National Building Energy Codes Campaign Coordinator. "Building code officials made the commonsense choice, understanding that energy efficiency is not a luxury, it is a necessity."
ICC delegates voted in favor of proposals that will increase energy efficiency in homes and commercial buildings through measures such as better insulation, better windows, improved air tightness and ducts, and better lighting. Taken together, the approved proposals achieve a model code that is at least 30 percent more energy efficient than the 2006 version of the model code.
"These were important and challenging decisions but I am completely certain that the voting members made the right choices," expressed veteran builder and chairman of the Green Builder Coalition, Ron Jones. "Code officials opted for a more sustainable future for everyone, while providing a level playing field to the building industry based on demonstrated improvements to ensure energy performance. The improvements are meaningful and they are achievable by every competent builder in the industry."
Homes and buildings constitute the largest sector of energy consumption in the United States, accounting for nearly half of all U.S. greenhouse gas pollution and using more than 75 percent of the electricity generated from power plants. By increasing the energy efficiency of homes, schools and offices, the new 2012 model building code will reduce demand for energy from dirty sources like coal and oil.
"This [30 percent increase] was a goal three years in the making," said Ron Majette, Project Manager for R&D Building Codes for the U.S. Department of Energy. "We’re ecstatic."
Even considering the small added construction costs of more efficient buildings, the 2012 model code will save homeowners money by reducing monthly utility bills. These net savings translate into an extra $511 in the pocket of the average new American homeowner, each year. Low-income Americans especially stand to benefit from lower electricity bills resulting from the 2012 model code.
"Code officials today passed measures that increase energy efficiency and will save on electricity, gas, and fuel oil bills for people across the U.S," commented Steve Rosenstock, manager at Edison Electric Institute, a coalition that represents private utilities across the nation.
Forty-seven states and the District of Colombia base their building codes upon these national model standards.
"Our next step is to encourage states and localities to adopt the 2012 IECC so that all new homebuyers will benefit from improved efficiency," stated Bill Fay Director, Energy Efficient Codes Coalition.
The Energy Efficient Codes Coalition is a unique, broad-based alliance of energy efficiency advocates – including government, national energy efficiency groups, regional energy efficiency alliances, environmental groups, utilities, affordable housing advocates, architecture, academia/think tanks, energy consumers, businesses and labor unions.
Together, the EECC coalition authored “The 30% Solution 2012,” a comprehensive code change proposal that employed existing technologies to boost energy efficiency in the 2012 residential model energy code by up to 35% over the 2006 IECC baseline efficiency levels. The coalition also opposed proposals to either weaken energy efficiency or include industry-specific or product-specific special exemptions. The EECC is housed at the Alliance to Save Energy (a founding member).
For more information about the EECC, please visit: http://www.thirtypercentsolution.org/