Press Release - Columbia City Council Set to Vote on Energy Code Update
Matt Kerns, Alliance to Save Energy - (202) 530-2252
City Council Poised to Exclude Energy Code While Updating Other Building Codes – Costing Columbia Residents Thousands in Higher Energy Bills
Meanwhile, new analysis shows Missourians use higher than average amount of energy
September 10, 2013 – At last week’s Columbia City Council meeting, a proposal was introduced to update the city’s building code from the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC) to the 2012 version. City Council will vote on the proposal September 16. However, the proposal excludes an update to the city’s energy code – which would remain at the 2009 level. If passed, this ordinance will cost homeowners thousands of dollars in higher energy bills over the lifetime of new homes.
“Additional insulation, better air sealing, better windows, and high efficiency heating and cooling reduce monthly expenses immediately,” said Ken Kroll of Designer Home Builders. “Energy-efficient homes not only have lower monthly bills, but they’re also more comfortable than drafty old homes, require less maintenance, and help our country reduce reliance on imported energy.”
The proposal submitted to the City Council from the Building Construction Codes Commission indicated that one reason for excluding the energy code from this recent building code update was “due to the complexity”. Updating energy codes is not a new concept for Missouri cities – Kansas City recently updated its building energy code to the 2012 version, and a recent analysis by the Building Code Assistance Project found that Kansas City new home buyers are saving an estimated $516 every year. The code that Kansas City adopted is the same code being excluded from the proposed update to building codes in Columbia.
Meanwhile, a new analysis by the United States Energy Information Administration shows that Missouri households consume 12% more energy than the U.S. average. Missouri spends more than $20 billion annually on energy, importing the vast majority of that energy from out of state. Updating Columbia’s energy code would strengthen the state and local economy and allow city residents to keep more of their money, improving the standard of living for Columbia families.
The Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP) was created by the Alliance to Save Energy, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. Since 1994, BCAP's goal has been to reduce building energy use by promoting the adoption, implementation and advancement of energy-efficient building codes and standards by working directly with state and local governments.