The 2012 Energy Code

…you’re already doing it

As many municipalities move to adopt the 2012 Energy Code (2012 IECC), resistance is being stirred up. Among those resisting are builders, state government, municipalities, and code officials. The reasons for resisting vary, but they include financial, political, or misperception.

Recently we conducted a training session to 86 builders on the 2012 IECC. During which, a pre and post survey was conducted. The results of the pre session survey showed that 61% of the attendees objected to an energy code because of perceived costs, 18% said it was not practical or they were not familiar with the energy code, 13% said an energy code conflicts with their political beliefs, and 8% of the respondents said they did not object and/or were already implementing it in their new homes or renovations.

The strategies of the 2012 energy code include:

  • Better insulation, including pipes
  • A tighter envelope
  • Tighter ducts
  • Better windows
  • More efficient lighting
  • Blower door test requirements

When the above are implemented during new construction or renovation, it results in reduced operating costs, healthier indoor air quality, greater comfort, and a higher standard of construction compared to traditional building practice. Furthermore, prospective homeowners are responding with greater demand to homes that feature improved energy efficiency.

Once the strategies of the 2012 IECC were identified, the post session survey results were dramatically different compared to the pre session survey; 45% of the attendees said they were already implementing energy code strategies, and of those not currently implementing the 2012 IECC, 33% said it made economical sense, is practical, and would adopt the strategies moving forward. In other words, prior to sharing the strategies of the 2012 IECC only 8% of those surveyed were in favor, afterwards 78% were in favor.

The biggest obstacle in advocating energy efficiency and the 2012 IECC, is related to misperceptions such as costs, practicality, and political affiliation.

Once the energy efficiency strategies of the 2012 IECC are effectively messaged and correlated withsuccessful case studies, then the overwhelming response is, ‘it makes good business sense,’ or ‘we are already doing it!’

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