Zero energy building codes are making inroads in Oregon, California, British Columbia, and other places, but a new ACEEE white paper reveals that they still face barriers to nationwide success, including a “solar-only” mentality.
The Atlantic hurricane season is just beginning, and experts are predicting another active year.
Washington, DC—As more states struggle with extreme weather events, the 2017 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard gives state-level policymakers a road map for building stronger and more-resilient communities. This 11th annual report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), released today, shows which states are doing the best on energy efficiency — a critical tool for withstanding and recovering from storms and economic shocks.
Next week we will release the 2017 City Energy Efficiency Scorecard. Because it’s been two years since we published the last edition, here are some key scorecard numbers and facts to jog your memory about its contents.
100: Number of points cities could earn. No city came close to earning a perfect score in a past scorecard. Spoiler alert: it didn’t happen this time either.
Five years ago, ACEEE found that energy efficiency could reduce projected 2050 US energy use by 40–60%. As a result, ACEEE established a strategic goal to reduce projected 2050 energy use by 50%. We thought it was time to check on our progress and ask whether our goal still seems reasonable. We find that energy use has been stable in recent years, reversing historical growth, a very positive development that is due in significant part to increasing our energy efficiency.
Do you know which government in the United States is the biggest laggard on energy codes for homes? The federal government. But that’s about to change.
Manufactured homes and the “HUD Code”
Although building codes are mostly set by states, the federal government sets codes for manufactured homes (sometimes called mobile homes) because the factory does not always know where a home will end up. Manufacturers shipped 70,519 homes in 2015, more than the number of single-family homes built in any state except Texas.
Building codes have protected people with minimum health and safety requirements for buildings since the Code of Hammurabi in 1754 BCE. Energy provisions in US codes have protected owners and tenants from excessive energy waste since the 1970s. They set minimum performance levels for energy features in new buildings and renovations, notably insulation, windows, air sealing, and to some extent, lighting and heating and cooling equipment.
A recent paper by Charles Withers and Robin Vieira from the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) presents a fascinating story about the impacts of the Florida new home building energy code. The paper was presented at the recent Behavior, Energy and Climate Change conference.
Energy Efficiency in Senate Bills will Make US Economy Healthier – But One Bill Contains a Poison Pill
Today the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted out two bills—one shepherded by Energy and Natural Resources Committee chair, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) (the Energy Policy Modernization Act), and the other written by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) (the Energy Efficiency and Industrial Competitiveness Act, S. 720).