Americans will benefit from recently approved changes to building energy codes by the International Code Council. New and renovated homes and commercial buildings will have to use 30% less energy than those built to previous standards.
An average homeowner will waste $500 fewer dollars annually than their neighbor who owns an energy wasteful house. That number does factor in improvements’ capitalized costs, according to the DoE. What is included in improvements? Things like increased insulation, more efficient lighting, making buildings and ducts more air-tight and checking up on commercial buildings after they’re built.
How big a deal is $500 per homeowner per year? Republicans are always touting reducing taxes as a way to put more money in homeowners’ pockets. Well, they’ve missed a huge opportunity for decades now to do just that with energy codes. The average American spends $2,340 in annual energy costs. That compares to $1,897 in property taxes and $822 in homeowners’ insurance. Knocking $500 off energy costs brings them down beneath average property tax numbers. But instead of starving municipalities of much needed monies by slashing taxes, savings on energy can be put back into those municipalities when homeowners spend the money. And they’re increasingly spending any saved money on necessities instead of consumer wants.
Saving energy isn’t just good for homeowners’ wallets either. It’s very good news for our energy security and reducing our global warming forcing. Less energy wasted means less dirty fuels burned. Hopefully, it’s not too late to implement these and other easy solutions.
[h/t Climate Progress]