Tuesday, December 8, 2015

New Energy Conservation Codes for Buildings

At the December 1, 2015, Council Meeting, a joint resolution was passed by the Mayor and Council (5-2) outlining their support for the adoption of the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and other possible air quality enhancements for Utah.

The Utah Governor’s Office of Energy Development reports that adoption of the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) would save each new Utah homeowner $297 per year; and analysis conducted by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory finds that the 2015 IECC is cost-effective for new commercial buildings and homes, resulting in positive cash flow within two years for new home buyers.

Because air pollution gravely threatens the health of the people of Utah County as well as economic development and homes and buildings now account for 39% of air pollution in Utah according to the Utah Division of Air Quality, energy-efficient new homes and commercial buildings represent an important long-term air pollution reduction strategy by reducing energy consumption and resulting pollution emissions over the 100+ year life of building structures.

It is estimated that adoption of the 2015 IECC would reduce CO2 pollution in Utah by an estimated 5.06 million metric tons by 2040, the equivalent of taking over 84,000 cars off of the road every year; and would reduce by 1,502 tons Utah’s emissions of direct pollution and precursors of PM2.5 and ozone, both grave health threats, by 2050. Improved energy efficiency will also buffer against spikes in utility rates by reducing demand for energy by 7.57 trillion BTU, consequently mitigating the need for utility companies to build new energy infrastructure and pass those costs on to consumers. It is far more cost-effective to build-in energy efficient, air pollution reduction technologies during construction, rather than retrofitting a home after it is constructed.

More information on this issue is available from Utah Clean Energy.

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