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Next-generation building policies

Smart policies, standards and codes to accelerate energy efficiency delivers many benefits that can make business operations easier and unlock more opportunity. Requiring disclosure of buildings’ energy use gives everyone—from buyers and renters to brokers, and energy efficiency providers—the information they need to make intelligent choices.

Smart rules don’t just inform choice and unlock opportunity but also level the playing field and help ensure quality (if enforced). Well-placed rules can also increase confidence in energy investments.

Map of utilities with decoupling for electric utilities

To help encourage utilities to pursue efficiency while staying financial healthy, many regulators have changed how utilities get paid for saving energy. More than half of states have some type of cost recovery in place. Perhaps the most effective mechanism has been decoupling, which breaks the link between earnings and total energy sold, and is often combined with shared savings that fully align utility with customer incentives.

 

Changes in residential and commercial building codes, 1975–2011

Residential and commercial codes require increases in building efficiency, and can help drive the transition to a more efficient economy. Recent and significant changes to the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) 2012 and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 90.1-2010 require decreases of 15% and 25% in energy use from a 1975 baseline, respectively.

 

Gaps in building codes (residential & commercial)

Inadequate policies fail to realize the potential of energy efficiency. Residential building is easily influenced by codes, but federal and state policies rarely encourage efficiency.
 
 
 

 

Gaps in building codes (residential & commercial) (slide 2 of 2)

Inadequate policies fail to realize the potential of energy efficiency. Residential building is easily influenced by codes, but federal and state policies rarely encourage efficiency.