As a condition of accepting Recovery Act funding, states must meet 90 percent compliance with the 2009 IECC by 2017. In 2010, BCAP launched the Compliance Planning Assistance Program (CPA) to help states understand their current energy code infrastructure and create action plans to meet the challenge of energy code compliance.
BCAP has already worked with 17 states to assess current state energy code efforts and opportunities, summarized in gap analysis reports. We then helped 12 of those states develop customized strategic compliance plans. Since 2012, BCAP has expanded the program to three new states, partnering with the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
Everyone has a right to a home that meets or exceeds national standards. That’s why BCAP teamed up with the Consumers Union—makers of Consumer Reports—to educate the public on the impact of home energy use, the role of energy codes in addressing home energy performance, and what you can do to save energy—and money.
Recently, BCAP has launched campaigns in four states – Alaska, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Texas – to raise consumer awareness and support of energy codes. BCAP and Consumers Union created a national energy code checklist and guide, in addition to state-specific resources for over 8 states. Currently, BCAP is expanding its campaign to new cities in Missouri and Nebraska to conduct surveys both before and after the awareness and outreach activities.
One of the major barriers to energy code adoption is the concern that the cost of upgrading to the latest model energy code would be prohibitive. To address this issue, BCAP undertook a study to quantify the incremental construction cost of upgrading to the 2012 IECC in states and cities where such an analysis was feasible.
Moving from current practice to the 2012 IECC for new homes would result in a weighted average incremental cost of $1,494 – 2,201 per new home in the areas in for which we’ve completed our analysis (subject to change). The annual energy savings per home would be $296 – 392 on average. When amortized into a standard 30-year mortgage, average payback period would be realized within 1 to 2 years on average!
One of the barriers to improved energy code compliance is a lack of local and/or state infrastructure and experience enforcing energy codes. The Energy Code Ambassadors Program (ECAP) is a joint initiative with the International Code Council (ICC) to provide training to local code officials who can act as local experts in their communities.
The Ambassadors provides support and energy code expertise, including in-field guidance to the code enforcement community. Ambassadors will be adept at using ICC, BCAP, DOE and other resources and will act as grassroots code adoption and implementation representatives as needed.
BCAP has set up ECAP programs in Alabama, Idaho, Nevada, and Utah. BCAP received a number of valuable recommendations for improving the ECAP program in 2013, and will launch new ECAP Programs in Delaware and Ohio.