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03/06/2013

Leveraging Building Energy Codes

 
Can you take advantage of building energy codes?  The answer is probably yes.

Making energy codes work for your facility or building can be a challenge.  As states increasingly look to utilities to play an active role in supporting building energy codes, a new report from a coalition of energy efficiency advocates has been issued to provide guidance for how state regulatory commissions and energy offices can best develop and evaluate such efforts. 

The report, Attributing Building Energy Code Savings to Energy Efficiency Programs, developed by the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) Evaluation, Measurement and Verification (EM&V) Forum; the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT); and IEE, an institute of the Edison Foundation, provides guidance on program options, evaluation protocol, and regulatory considerations for efficiency program administrators and policymakers.

Utility-supported energy codes programs are generally in their infancy and face challenges to adoption and scalability, including the lack of uniform standards for crediting utilities with associated program savings.

This report investigates evaluation mechanisms or “frameworks” used in states such as California, Arizona, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island and reviews potential hybrid approaches that balance considerations such as potential energy savings, resource requirements, cost-effectiveness, and defensibility.

“Building energy codes represent tremendous opportunities for states to meet their increasingly aggressive energy savings goals,” says Susan Coakley, executive director of NEEP.  “Utilities and other administrators of ratepayer funded energy efficiency programs provide an ideal opportunity to both inform and support the development and implementation of codes. This report offers guidance for developing frameworks that connect the two by providing options for policy makers to allow the  utilities to claim  energy savings from code support effortless as part of their overall efficiency programs.”

Recognizing that there is no one-size-fits all approach, the report provides an overview of  the code and utility policy environment in 17 diverse states to help categorize the unique opportunities and challenges posed by local conditions.

“State and local building codes are a cornerstone of U.S. energy policy, so this is an exciting but relatively untested area of utility engagement” says Sarah Stellberg, manager of research and policy analysis at IMT. “Our goal for this report was to provide actionable guidance for policymakers, PAs, and regulators as they test the waters with new codes program activities.”

“Utilities are exploring every possible activity to affect energy efficiency within homes and businesses” said Lisa Wood, Executive Director of IEE, “and developing guidance on how to design, implement, and assess the performance of utility-supported building energy codes programs provides yet another cost-effective option for the electric utility industry to deliver energy savings to its customers.”

The Cadmus Group, Inc. (Cadmus) and its partners, Energy Futures Group, NMR, and Optimal Energy (the Cadmus team) performed the study and produced this research report with invaluable input from an Advisory Committee members including state PUC commissioners and staff, utility program administrators, non-governmental organizations, and regional efficiency organizations.

 

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04/16/2014

The U.S. Army plans to start development of a solar array that will provide about 25% of the annual installation electricity requirement of Fort Huachuca, Arizona.

04/15/2014

The EPA's annual greenhouse gas emissions report is now available.

04/14/2014

Are you what some would call a “climate-change denier”? If so, you'll want to read this.

04/10/2014
Los Angeles has remained the top city for ENERGY STAR certified building since 2008, while Washington, D.C. continues to hold onto second place for the fifth consecutive year, according to a new list released by the EPA.
04/09/2014
Green construction has grown massively over a short period of time.
04/07/2014
Field demonstrations of newly proven energy-efficient technologies are yielding valuable results for the U.S. Navy, helping it meet energy goals.
04/03/2014
Building owners in Chicago now have more options when it comes to getting their building energy data verified.
04/01/2014
According to a new report from Eaton, such outages are up 15% in 2013 over 2012 and over half of those surveyed believe that downtime could have been prevented.
03/31/2014
The newly revised ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 105-2014, Standard Methods of Determining, Expressing, and Comparing Building Energy Performance and Greenhouse Gas Emissions, aims to provide a consistent method of measuring, expressing, and comparing the energy performance of buildings.
03/27/2014
Facility managers face an every expanding array of sustainability choices and challenges, but for the next generation of FMs, green practices could be second nature as sustainability literacy enters the K-12 school system.
03/25/2014
While the economic recession explains the decline in sales in 2008 and 2009, it is much less clear why sales have continued to fall.
03/24/2014
University of Washington (UW) scientists have built the thinnest known LED that can be used as a source of light energy in electronics.
03/21/2014
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed Senate Bill 2378 into law, effectively enacting the state’s first building code.
03/19/2014
In an attempt to improve building energy performance, the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has released a web-based tool called the Technology Performance Exchange, or TPEx.
03/18/2014
Could green building practices pose unanticipated life-safety hazards?
03/13/2014
Worried about workplace violence in your facility? Researchers have discovered that “mindfully observing” high-risk employees can avert danger and workplace violence.
03/11/2014
Through the DOE’s Building Energy Codes Program, every dollar the DOE has spent on building energy codes over the past two decades has resulted in $400 in energy cost savings.
03/07/2014
It is possible to harvest energy from Earth's thermal infrared emission into outer space, according to new research from the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
03/05/2014
Is your building prepared to handle an emergency?
03/04/2014
NASCAR revealed five newly installed charging stations for employee use.
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