BEECN Campaigns to Strengthen Building Codes
for Energy Use Reductions
June 30, 2009
The Building Energy Efficient Codes Network (BEECN), which consists
of representatives from utility organizations, the building and
manufacturing industries, regional and national energy efficiency
organizations, labor, academia, and many others, has launched an
integrated national campaign advocating strengthened codes to reduce
energy used by homes and commercial buildings. According to a BEECN
announcement, substantial research documents the role strengthened
building codes play in bringing down energy costs for consumers,
businesses, governments and other institutions.
The BEECN's major goals are to:
- Pass national legislation setting ambitious energy building
code efficiency improvements of 30 percent for all new buildings
starting in 2010 and 50 percent by the middle of the next decade,
with the ultimate goal of net-zero-energy buildings by 2030 (provisions
included in the House-passed American Clean Energy and Security
Act and the Senate Energy Committee's American Clean Energy Leadership
- Allow code bodies, states and localities the first opportunity
to propose and adopt codes that meet or exceed those minimums;
- Provide states and localities with the resources they need
to adopt, implement, administer and enforce stronger energy codes
for new homes and commercial buildings; and
- Implement a federal energy code as a backstop if states do
not meet code targets on their own.
- "Buildings are America's largest users - and wasters -
of energy," noted Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance
to Save Energy, a BEECN founding member organization. "With
buildings gobbling up 40 percent of the total energy and more
than 70 percent of the electricity consumed in the U.S. and producing
40 percent of the nation's greenhouse gas emissions, there is
an urgent need to address this unsustainable situation. The good
news is that robust building energy codes, applied in all states,
provide our most affordable, accessible tool for enhancing national
energy security, strengthening our economy, and tackling climate
change. In other words, strong codes are a win-win-win for many
of our nation's most critical concerns."
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