BCAP conducts advocacy activities on behalf of DOE by providing direct assistance to states, counties and cities. Our role as an impartial advocate for energy-efficient codes gives us the credibility to coordinate action between disparate stakeholders.
States are required under federal law (EPAct 1994)—and often as a condition of funding (most recently the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009)—to take action on updating their energy codes. Unfortunately, for many states, adopting and updating new codes is easier said than done. Most are unaware of the full environmental and economic benefits of adopting strong energy codes. Buildings use over one-third of our energy, two-thirds of our electricity and one-eighth of our water. In 2010 alone, U.S. households spent about $2,175 on energy bills, while the commercial sector spent an estimated $183 billion on non-renewable energy expenditures.
To educate states on the issues and ensure that each remains eligible for additional federal funds, BCAP maintains state-specific data on current codes, energy use and construction rates. This information, coupled with BCAP’s ability to coordinate interested parties, provides policy makers and advocates with the tools they need to support the adoption of stronger codes that reduce energy use, improve indoor air quality, and put money back into the hands of consumers and businesses.