BEECN Campaigns to Strengthen Building Codes for Energy Use Reductions

The Building Energy Efficient Codes Network (BEECN), which consists of representatives from utility organizations, the building and manufacturing industries, regional and national energy efficiency organizations, labor, academia, and many others, has launched an integrated national campaign advocating strengthened codes to reduce energy used by homes and commercial buildings. According to a BEECN announcement, substantial research documents the role strengthened building codes play in bringing down energy costs for consumers, businesses, governments and other institutions.The BEECN’s major goals are to:
· Pass national legislation setting ambitious energy building code efficiency improvements of 30 percent for all new buildings starting in 2010 and 50 percent by the middle of the next decade, with the ultimate goal of net-zero-energy buildings by 2030 (provisions included in the House-passed American Clean Energy and Security Act and the Senate Energy Committee’s American Clean Energy Leadership Act);

· Allow code bodies, states and localities the first opportunity to propose and adopt codes that meet or exceed those minimums;

· Provide states and localities with the resources they need to adopt, implement, administer and enforce stronger energy codes for new homes and commercial buildings; and

· Implement a federal energy code as a backstop if states do not meet code targets on their own.

Buildings are America’s largest users – and wasters – of energy,” noted Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy, a BEECN founding member organization. “With buildings gobbling up 40 percent of the total energy and more than 70 percent of the electricity consumed in the U.S. and producing 40 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions, there is an urgent need to address this unsustainable situation. The good news is that robust building energy codes, applied in all states, provide our most affordable, accessible tool for enhancing national energy security, strengthening our economy, and tackling climate change. In other words, strong codes are a win-win-win for many of our nation’s most critical concerns.”