- ASHRAE 90-1
- CA Title 24
The Purpose of Energy Codes
Energy codes and standards set minimum efficiency requirements for new and renovated buildings, assuring reductions in energy use and emissions over the life of the building. Efficient buildings are more comfortable and cost-effective to operate, assuring energy, economic and environmental benefits.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the U.S. residential and commercial buildings together account for approximately 40% of all energy consumed and emit more carbon dioxide than either the industrial or transportation sector.
As a building's operation and environmental impact is largely determined by upfront decision, energy codes present a unique opportunity to assure savings through efficient building design, technologies, and construction practices. Once a building is constructed, it is significantly more expensive to achieve higher efficiency levels. Since buildings are built to last decades, energy codes also ensure that a building's energy use is included as a fundamental part of design and construction, making it a long term investment toward energy, economic and environmental benefits.
Building energy codes provide both tangible and intangible benefits.
- As stated earlier, energy-efficient buildings are more comfortable and cost-effective.
- Consumers and home buyers can be assured they have purchased or rented a home that meets minimum standards for energy efficiency, saving significant charges on utility bills.
- Environmental pollutants are reduced.
- Reduced energy consumption is often correlated with reduced dependency on foreign oil, which impacts national security.
- Energy-efficient buildings can create economic opportunities for business and industry by promoting new energy efficient technologies.
Adoption of Energy Codes & Standards
The current status of residential and commercial building energy codes adopted by U.S. states and territories are mapped below. Referenced from the Building Energy Codes Program (BECP).
Adapted from the Building Energy Codes Program (BECP).