[Greenbuilding] proof that stringent energy codes are effective

Corwyn corwyn at midcoast.com
Fri Sep 24 15:17:54 CDT 2010

On 9/23/2010 2:11 PM, Alan Abrams wrote:

>   Are Building Codes Effective at Saving Energy? Evidence from Residential
> Billing Data in Florida, NBER Working Paper, July, 2010
> In response to the 1973 oil embargo, many states began passing building
> energy codes in order to promote energy efficiency. While the vast majority
> of states have energy codes in place, policymakers are now attempting to
> legislate energy codes at the federal level to help address more recent
> concerns about energy efficiency and climate change. Nevertheless,
> surprisingly little is known about whether energy codes are an effective way
> to reduce energy consumption in practice. This paper provides the first
> evaluation of an energy-code change that uses residential billing data on
> both electricity and natural gas, combined with data on observable
> characteristics of each residence. The study takes place in Gainesville,
> Florida, and the empirical strategy is based on comparisons between
> residences constructed just before and just after Florida increased the
> stringency of its energy code in 2002. We find that the increased stringency
> of the energy code is associated with a 4-percent decrease in electricity
> consumption and a 6-percent decrease in natural-gas consumption. The pattern
> of savings is consistent with reduced consumption of electricity for
> air-conditioning and reduced consumption of natural gas for heating. We also
> estimate economic costs and benefits and find that the private payback
> period for the average residence is 6.4 years. The social payback period,
> which accounts for the avoided costs of air-pollution emissions, ranges
> between 3.5 and 5.3 years.

Any information on the embodied energy of the two sets of buildings?

Thank You Kindly,


Topher Belknap
Green Fret Consulting
Kermit didn't know the half of it...
topher at greenfret.com
(207) 882-7652

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