International Code Council Committee Sets Stage for Boost in Energy Efficiency of NEW U.S. Homes | Alliance to Save Energy

International Code Council Committee Sets Stage for Boost in Energy Efficiency of NEW U.S. Homes

The Alliance to Save Energy News

International Code Council Committee Sets Stage for Boost in Energy Efficiency of NEW U.S. Homes

Release Date: Monday, March 3, 2008

Three-Day Hearing Could Result in More Energy Efficiency Improvements than Any Previous Set of Model Code Amendments

WASHINGTON, DC, March 2, 2008 – Model energy building efficiency codes under the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) could be strengthened substantially if action taken at the just-completed 2008 Codes Forum of the International Code Council (ICC) is upheld at the ICC annual meeting in September. The IECC, which is amended every three years, is the model energy efficient building code recognized by federal law.

“The IECC Development Committee has elevated energy efficiency to the importance today’s international energy crisis warrants,” said William Fay, coordinator of the broad-based Energy Efficient Codes Coalition (EECC). “By recommending the first substantial boost in model energy codes for residential buildings in over a decade, the committee vote has confronted one of the last frontiers of wasted energy, a sector accounting for 40% of our nation’s energy and carbon emissions and 75% of its electricity.”

Soon after the hearings began, the committee turned to the EECC’s “30% Solution,” a comprehensive package of achievable and affordable model code improvements that, if fully implemented, would boost new home energy efficiency by 30%. Calls for a stronger energy code – on the order of 30% or beyond – are coming from a growing number of highly respected governmental and other bodies, including members of Congress and the EPA/DOE National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency, ASHRAE, Western Governors Association, US Department of Energy, National Petroleum Council, American Institute of Architects, and Mayors for Climate Protection.

“The benefits of a 30% boost in US energy efficiency,” Fay noted, “are impressive:

  • “Energy savings of 14.6 quadrillion Btu over the next 20 years (equal to the annual energy output of 132 base load power plants) and 790 million less metric tons of CO2.
  • “Annual homeowner savings of $112 billion from reducing wasted energy.”

Fay added that a powerful national case for “The 30% Solution” was presented by an influential line-up of advocates that included:

  • The US Department of Energy,
  • A letter signed by over 30 mayors, led by Mayors Will Wynn (Austin), Michael Bloomberg (NYC), Manny Diaz (Miami), Adrian Fenty (Washington, DC), Bob Foster (Long Beach), Greg Nickels (Seattle) and Doug Palmer (Trenton),
  • The National Association of State Energy Officials,
  • Utilities (represented by the Edison Electric Institute)
  • Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest and Northwest regional energy efficiency alliances,
  • Environmental, energy consumer, and low-income homeowner groups,
  • The Alliance to Save Energy, American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, New Buildings Institute and the United Nations Foundation.
  • The Business Council for Sustainable Energy and other business trade associations.

Although the Development Committee did not recommend all elements of EECC’s proposed “The 30% Solution” for adoption, other significant energy-saving code improvements by the Department of Energy, the Northwest Energy Codes Group and others, which were supported by EECC, were recommended for approval along with many of EECC’s proposals. With these and other proposals on the docket in September, the EECC believes the final 2009 IECC package will mean a substantial boost in energy efficiency for new home construction.

The IECC Development Committee’s recommendations will be submitted to for approval at the Final Action Hearings this Fall where they will be voted on by the ICC’s membership, comprised of government officials that administer, adopt or enforce US building codes.

About EECC

The Energy Efficient Codes Coalition is a unique, broad-based alliance of longstanding energy efficiency advocates – from government, regional energy efficiency alliances, environmental groups, utilities, energy consumers and businesses – who support an ambitious leap forward in energy efficiency. Together, the coalition developed a comprehensive code change proposal to boost energy efficiency in the 2009 model energy code by 30% over the current IECC, using fully achievable and affordable “state-of-the-shelf” technologies. The coalition also supports other affordable energy code proposals that would take the US beyond 30% and opposes proposals or amendments that either weaken energy efficiency or include industry- or product-specific special exemptions or other special provisions.




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