Code would make new homes more energy efficient

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Michigan’s Residential Code Review Committee has recommended adoption of a new residential construction code that would make newly-constructed homes in Michigan more energy efficient, saving homeowners money on their utility bills and helping the state reach its energy efficiency goals.

The committee’s recommended changes support Gov. Rick Snyder’s energy goals for Michigan that he announced in December: to aggressively pursue improvements that will help eliminate energy waste, make utility bills more affordable for customers, reduce the need for new electric generation, and protect the environment.

“Michigan’s new energy efficient residential construction code will result in savings ranging from 14 percent to more than 17 percent for heating and more than 25 percent when electrical and equipment efficiency is considered, depending on the type of home and its location,” said Shelly Edgerton, deputy director of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). “That’s good news for homeowners’ and renters’ pocketbooks, and it will help Michigan be better positioned as an energy conscious state.”

“The new residential energy code benefits Michigan residents in a number of ways,” said Lee Schwartz, executive vice-president for government relations at the Home Builders Association of Michigan. “It provides very significant increases in energy efficiency in new homes over the current code, while complying with Michigan’s cost-effective requirements. It is product neutral, but provides increased options for the use of Michigan-made materials to achieve those energy savings, helping to further grow Michigan’s economy and provide jobs for its citizens.”

“In addition, it is first-time home buyer friendly, since families who could qualify for a mortgage under the current energy code will continue to be able to qualify for the same home under the new energy code. The residential energy code is a winner for the people of the state of Michigan,” he said.

Erik Van Oosten, of Dow Building and Construction said that adoption of the 2012 Michigan Residential and Energy Code is an important step forward in making homes more energy-efficient and more comfortable in the process.

“The code will contribute to more efficient and less leaky homes and thereby can help Michiganfamilies reduce their energy bills,” he said. “We applaud LARA and the Home Builders Association of Michigan for working with us on the adoption of the energy code thereby creating a more sustainable directive for the future.”

“Streamlined approval of above code programs, along with requiring blower door tests conducted by certified individuals, exceeds the provisions of the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code. These provisions are part of a new energy code that will help thousands of Michiganders save energy at much higher levels than the current energy code,” added Brindley Byrd, executive director of the Michigan Energy Efficiency Contractors Association.

The new code is based on the International Code Council’s 2012 Energy Conservation Code.Michigan’s Residential Code Review Committee’s recommendations now go to the Michigan Legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. If approved, the new residential construction code is expected to go into effect next year.

http://www.hometownlife.com/story/money/business/2014/09/04/construction-code-new-homes-energy-efficient/14970429/

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