New Construction Code to Make Homes More Energy Efficient

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A new construction code recommended by Michigan’s Residential Code Review Committee would make newly constructed homes more energy efficient, resulting in lower utility bills for homeowners.

The new energy efficient residential construction code, yet to be approved, would 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, says Shelly Edgerton, deputy director of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

“That’s good news for homeowners’ and renters’ pocketbooks, and it will help Michigan be better positioned as an energy conscious state,” Edgerton says.

The committee’s recommended changes support Gov. Rick Snyder’s energy goals for Michigan: 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.

Lee Schwartz, executive vice president for government relations at the Home Builders Association of Michigan, says the new code would benefit Michigan residents in a number of ways. In addition to providing significant increases in energy efficiency, it is also “first-time home buyer friendly,” he says. 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 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.

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