The Institute for Market Transformation, or IMT, has recently released an informational guide on how the energy code changes have affected two different homes built about 30 years apart from each other.
One house was built in 2012, while the other was built in 1983, two times when the energy codes were very different. Here is a summary of the differences in the energy codes and how new homes are using the new energy codes.
The Benefit to New Energy Codes
Household energy use is not lower than it was back in the 80s. This is surprising due to the increase use of technology, but the energy codes are stronger now. These energy codes were set up by law to designate a minimum standard for energy efficiency of newly built homes. This is savings homeowner’s money because houses with stronger codes are 44% more efficient. It’s also saving the environment by lowering carbon emissions.
The 80s vs. Now
Back in the 80s, there were several things not required in houses that they’ve changed now.
- The walls, ceilings and floors were less insulated than today’s homes
- Doors and windows were losing more heat than houses are now due to better heat retention
- Thermostats now are programmable and back in the 80s they were only adjustable. Now people can program to save on heat and air costs.
- The lighting in today’s homes must be high efficiency, and in the 80s there were no requirements on lighting
- In the 80s, leakage testing wasn’t done and now air leakage testing is absolutely mandatory
- Ducts were also not required to be tested for air leakage back then, while now air leakage testing is mandatory
The new energy codes are affecting people in a positive way. Now, we are helping the environment and saving Americans money. The new energy codes are a positive change that has taken place since the homes built in the 80s.
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