California residents can save the equivalent of 4 million barrels of oil yearly — about the annual output of three, 500 MW power stations — by installing window film on 10 percent of the dwellings built before building energy codes were mandated, the International Window Film Association (IWFA) says.
With the California Building Standards Commission’s recent approval of energy code requirements that take effect in 2014, California is the first state to add window film into its building code.
Analysis by ConSol, a California-based energy consulting firm, found that window film is one of the most cost-effective measures to reduce energy use in the state. It said window film outpaces traditional techniques such as updating HVAC systems, air sealing and caulking or adding R-38 ceiling insulation.
In California, there are about 9 million dwellings built prior to the energy building codes. By professionally installing window film on just 900,000 dwellings or 10 percent, ConSol estimates window film may cut a typical dwelling’s annual energy use by 10 percent. This could add up to 7,150,250,000 kWh.
IWFA Executive Director Darrell Smith says the association hopes lawmakers in other states will develop policies similar to California’s that encourage window film.