Change Legislation Calls for Energy Use Reduction in Commercial
July 1, 2009
The House of Representatives' passage of the American Clean Energy
and Security Act brings with it challenges as well as opportunities
for the glass industry. While there may be some concern over the
cap-and-trade system (CLICK
HERE to read related article), the bill, if signed into law,
would also have a significant impact on commercial buildings-bringing
opportunity for increased use of highly energy-efficient glazing.
Effective on the date of enactment, the law would call for a 30-percent
reduction in energy use relative to a comparable building constructed
in compliance with the baseline code (Note: baseline line code
for commercial structures is the code published in ASHRAE Standard
90.1-2004). Effective January 1, 2015, for commercial buildings,
this requirement increases to a 50-percent reduction in energy use
relative to the baseline code. Effective January 1, 2018, and every
three years thereafter through January 1, 2030, a 5-percent additional
reduction in energy use relative to the baseline code for commercial
buildings would be required.
In regards to zero-net energy buildings, the act states that the
"secretary shall consider ways to support the deployment of
distributed renewable energy technology, and shall seek to achieve
the goal of zero-net-energy commercial buildings established in
section 422 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007
(42 U.S.C. 17082)."
Technologies and design approaches that can help enable the construction
of net-zero energy buildings may also represent an opportunity for
the glass and fenestration industries. This could include further
development of highly insulating glass and window packages, such
as those with triple-glazed insulating glass units.
The legislation also notes a requirement for national energy efficiency
building codes for both residential and commercial buildings. This
would be established no later than one year after the deadline for
establishment of each target (meeting the 50-percent energy use
reduction and the additional 5-percent reduction every three years
thereafter, as noted above). The national energy efficiency building
code established to meet the 30-percent energy reduction target
would take effect no later than 15 months after its effective date.
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