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Home Energy Magazine Online May/June 1995
Alliance Says State Building Codes
Don't Make the Grade
At least half of all states have out-of-date residential building codes that force residents to waste millions of dollars a year on high energy bills, the Alliance to Save Energy found in a recent national survey. The survey compared existing state energy codes with the 1992 version of the Model Energy Code (a widely accepted model standard published by the Council of American Building Officials) and found that many state governments have not adopted the model building energy standards created with their input. In a report card based on the survey results, the Alliance assigned F's to 12 states for their existing codes, D's to 5 states, C's to 7 states. B's to 12 states, and A's to 14 states.
These grades show that too many states are not taking seriously their responsibility of adopting codes which ensure access to affordable and comfortable homes for their residents, said Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), chairman of the Alliance.
The survey found that at least ten states--Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Mexico, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia--recently adopted codes that meet the requirements of the 1992 Model Energy Code. By upgrading their codes, these states have decreased their total annual energy expenditures by $26 million, the Alliance said.
Alliance president David Nemtzow encourages states to take advantage of the resources offered by the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP). The project--a joint effort of the Alliance, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy--is an effort to assist states in adopting and implementing improved energy-efficient building codes. BCAP strengthens building energy codes through direct advocacy, regulatory policy development assistance, and strategic field support.
For more information contact Mary Ann Gourlay at the Alliance to Save Energy. Tel: (202)857-0666.