Benefits of new energy building codes

Barbara Vergetis Lundin writes in Fierce Energy about new research from one of the US national laboratories that quantified the savings from federal funding for more ambitious energy building codes. Interestingly, for every US$1 the Department of Energy spent on building energy codes, US$400 in energy cost savings resulted.

 

Building code energy efficiency dollar savings

New research from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) quantifies the financial savings from increased energy efficiency through building codes by evaluating the federal funding for the Energy Department’s Building Energy Codes Program, and comparing it to the energy savings over the past two decades.

For every $1 the DOE spent on building energy codes, $400 in energy cost savings resulted, according to PNNL.

The program was started in 1992 in response to the Energy Policy Act of 1992, which requires DOE to participate in the development of national building energy codes and standards. While the program received about $110 million in federal funding between 1992 and 2012, its efforts resulted in about $44 billion in energy cost savings, PNNL found. Those savings come from reducing national energy use by 4.8 quads or enough to power nearly 130 million U.S. homes for one year.

At the end of 2012, 41 million tons of carbon emissions had also been saved annually.

Between 2013 and 2040, the program could result in an additional 53 quads of energy savings, or the equivalent of more than an entire year’s worth of energy consumption from all U.S. residential and commercial buildings, PNNL projects. Through 2040, the program’s efforts could cumulatively result in 3,995 million fewer tons of carbon emissions and reduce the nation’s electric bill by up to $240 billion, the research concludes.

The report is available here.

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