Energy-Efficiency

New building energy codes will save Americans $138B over 3 decades

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • The US Department of Energy announces energy-efficient new building codes to save consumers money and fight climate change.
  • Bloomington, Indiana, launches its Bloomington Green Home Improvement Program.
  • UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.

New US building energy codes

It’s not just adopting clean energy that’s essential to fight climate change – energy efficiency is also crucial.

US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm yesterday announced new building energy code determinations from the US Department of Energy that will save US homes and businesses $138 billion over a 30-year period in energy costs. That’s equivalent to $162 in annual savings per residential unit.

The projected savings include 9.4% for residential buildings and 4.7% for commercial buildings, compared to earlier model energy codes. That’s 900 million metric tons of avoided emissions, equivalent to annual emissions from nearly 200 million cars.

For example, residential building changes outlined in an energy savings analysis include such things as high-efficacy lighting; increasing wall, window, and ceiling insulation; and improving mechanical ventilation fan efficacy.

The DOE writes:

America’s 129 million residential and commercial buildings collectively cost well over $400 billion a year to heat, cool, light, and power – accounting for 35% of U.S. carbon emissions, 40% of the nation’s energy use, and 75% of electricity use. And yet, buildings waste at least 30% of the energy they consume.

DOE will increase technical assistance to support state and local governments in adopting and implementing the latest model energy codes – including help with updating model energy codes; workforce education and training initiatives that help workers in the industry take advantage of evolving technologies, practices, and building standards; and new and emerging opportunities for more advanced codes that go further on energy savings and pollution reduction, and incorporate technologies like electric vehicle charging.

Bloomington Green Home Improvement Program

The City of Bloomington, Indiana, launched the Bloomington Green Home Improvement Program this week. It’s designed to support energy-efficient improvements for residents of Bloomington with a household income below $100,000. Homes must be owner-occupied.

The Bloomington Green Housing Improvement Program helps Bloomington homeowners finance energy efficiency upgrades, reduce their utility bills, and increase the environmental sustainability of their houses, in accordance with the City’s goals to improve environmental and economic equity in Bloomington.

Qualified residents can take out low-interest loans for projects, which also provide a 26% federal tax credit for solar if completed in 2021 or 2022. Once completion of a green energy project is verified, residents are then eligible for a $1,000 rebate from the city.

The City of Bloomington writes:

Program participants are able to utilize Clean Energy CU financing for a wide range of solar and energy efficiency projects, including solar electric system installations; geothermal heat pump systems; green home upgrades such as energy efficient HVAC, water heating, lighting, and appliances; energy analysis and monitoring; building envelope improvements; and electrical vehicle chargers. For the full list of green home improvements eligible for financing, please visit Clean Energy CU’s website at www.cleanenergycu.org

Homeowners within Bloomington city limits must complete an intake form to confirm eligibility. Once the intake form is completed, eligible residents will be directed to apply directly for a loan from Clean Energy Credit Union at an interest rate reduced by 0.5%.

Read more: Charging station straggler Indiana to spend $5.5M to catch up

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