Duke Energy Welcomes Energy Code Officials

Guest Blog | October 29, 2010 | Energy Efficiency

This post was authored by former SACE staffer, Glenn Mauney.

Why would a company that builds power plants host a reception at an event that is likely to help reduce the use of electricity? Well, the 2010 conference of the International Code Council is underway in Charlotte, NC.   And building energy efficiency is the topic of the day!

After the first two of five days of “Final Action Hearings” on proposals for enhancements to the International Building Code and the International Energy Conservation Code, hopes are high that the efforts of the assembly of several hundred building code officials and allied experts will lead to 30% greater building energy efficiency.

Wednesday’s hearings were followed by a reception in the atrium at Duke Energy headquarters.  Jim Rogers, Duke Energy president & CEO, welcomed members of the Energy Efficient Codes Coalition and other attendees from across the U.S.  In his remarks, Mr. Rogers emphasized Duke Energy’s commitment to efficiency, pointing to their new office tower, just across the street.  The new Duke Energy Center was awarded LEED Platinum certification, the “first and tallest” office building to achieve the highest-level LEED rating.

SACE is thrilled to have this important event happening in the Southeast.

The conference is considering proposals to update the IECC 2012 that could lead to 25 – 35% improvements in building energy efficiency. Watch and listen to the continuing dialog and decision making live via the ICC websiteThe EECC is offering advice and commentary via Twitter, from the floor at the hearings.

The Energy Efficient Codes Coalition (EECC) was formed in 2007 to mount a comprehensive, integrated effort to increase new home energy efficiency.  Their current proposal, under consideration at these hearings, is the “30% Solution 2012.”  This is a comprehensive set of proposals that take advantage of readily available “off-the-shelf” technologies to increase the efficiency by up to 35% over the 2006 IECC, currently used as a baseline for new buildings.  This effort coordinated by the EECC is supported by a host of various interests.

The International Code Council is a membership association whose mission is to protect the health safety and welfare of people by creating safe buildings and communities.  ICC develops the building codes and standards used to construct efficient and safe residential and commercial buildings, including homes and schools.  These codes are used by the fifty states, local jurisdictions, and federal & state agencies.

North Carolina took a position of leadership when in 2009 Governor Perdue committed to U.S. Dept. of Energy Secretary Chu that N.C. would adopt building energy codes that meet or exceed those included in “30% Solution 2012.”  The NC Building Code Council, after delaying a vote in September, is set to consider these new energy codes at its next meeting in December.

Florida is moving on a path set in 2008 by Gov. Charlie Crist, to attain a 50% improvement in energy efficiency of the 2020 new home versus the 2007 Florida building code. Developments in the state are tracking so far the IECC 2009 (the basis of the soon-to-be-approved 2010 code for Florida), to gain 20% over 2007.  The 2012 IECC will serve in the next triennial code improvement cycle in Florida to move another 10% toward the 2020 goal; this process is guided by 2008 Florida statute.

The U.S. Dept. of Energy is fostering advances in the IECC for 2012.  Its Building Energy Code Program website offers a wide range of resources, including a Top Ten list of benefits from good energy codes.

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