Tool Calculates Building Energy Code Data to Comply with Clean Power Plan

May 13, 2015 By Linda Hardesty

UnknownThe Alliance to Save Energy and the Energy Efficient Codes Coalition released a calculator that state air quality offices can use to estimate the carbon emission savings from state adoption and enforcement of the most recent building energy codes – the 2012 and 2015 versions of the International Energy Conservation Codes (IECC).

The most recent energy codes have boosted the efficiency of commercial building construction by 28 percent over 2006 requirements, say the groups.

The calculator was developed by the energy analytics team at ICF International, which used its expertise in both building energy codes and clean air policy.

The calculator can arm state air quality agencies with the data they need to support the inclusion of adopting and enforcing stronger building energy codes in their State Compliance Plans under EPA’s Clean Power Plan that was announced last June.

The Clean Power Plan sets state-specific targets to reduce overall carbon emissions from existing power plants by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 (with interim goals beginning in 2020). While the Agency’s authority to promulgate the rule under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act has been challenged by over a dozen states, most already are preparing compliance plans.

In March, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) released a step-by-step guide that helps states document and claim emissions reductions resulting from building energy codes as a means of complying with their obligations under the Clean Power Plan.

Takeaway: The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan allows states to employ end-use energy efficiency to comply with their emissions mandates, but provides little detail on how states would go about obtaining credit for these policies and programs. Groups such as ACEEE and The Alliance to Save Energy are jumping at the chance to leverage and promote energy efficiency and energy building codes as a way to comply.

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