Media Release

Alliance To Save Energy Report Links High Energy Bills, Waste, Pollution To Poor Housing Codes

Release Date: Friday, August 14, 1998

Homebuyers in most states could save $81 million a year and prevent the emission of 226,000 tons of unnecessary air pollution and greenhouse gases if their homes were built to be energy-efficient, according to a major new report by the Alliance to Save Energy.

A typical homebuyer would save an estimated $122 a year on energy, see a positive cash flow within two years, and create 588 pounds less of home air pollution bills if the 36 states in which they live just upgraded their energy codes to the 1993 Model Energy Code (MEC) standards, notes Opportunity Lost: Better Energy Codes for Affordable Housing and A Cleaner Environment.

"States need modern energy and other building codes to protect consumers against sub-standard construction and needlessly high energy bills," says Alliance President David M. Nemtzow. "Homebuilders build half a million inefficient homes each year which may last 75 to 100 years or longer. Homebuyers, their children, and their grandchildren lose the chance to live in homes that save money, energy, and our nation's environment."

While the 1993 MEC would improve the finances of homebuyers, it would also protect all citizens from air pollution by preventing the emission of 226,000 tons of pollutants and carbon dioxide which most leading scientists agree contributes to global warming and climate change.

"Protecting the health and property of its citizens alone gives governments an imperative to adopt modern energy codes," Nemtzow says. "When doing so is also economically beneficial, as shown in Opportunity Lost, failure to take this step is indefensible."

Of the states that have not yet adopted the 1993 MEC, the following offer greatest potential gains:

  • Michigan, Illinois, and Colorado lead in total energy savings potential.
  • Texas, Illinois, and Arizona lead in total dollar savings potential.
  • Texas, Kentucky, and Missouri offer the greatest potential for cutting air pollution emissions.