2015 February Newsletter

Message from David A. Wilson, Executive Director:

Utah Energy Conservation Coalition
Organizational Priorities for Calendar Year 2015

  •  Continue to maintain UECC’s financial sustainability.
    • Maintain a strong and realistic “fee for services” portfolio of income & revenue.
  •  Develop a realistic annual budget
    • Fully utilize ERHU income to develop & strengthen UECC and to better protect our non-profit status
    • More fully utilize memberships & associations with such associations and organizations as:
      • Utah Non-Profit Association
      • Utah Valley HBA (NAHB)
      • BYU Management Society
      •  USGBC
      • Utah & Beehive Chapters of ICC
      • RESNET
      • Utah Clean Energy
      • LinkedIn
  • Work with the Utah State Building Industry, Code Advocates, Home Energy Rating Industry, and Local Code Jurisdictions to Incorporate the HERS Index Score as a viable option for Building Energy Code Compliance.
    • In cooperation with RESNET, the UECC will work to ensure that all interested parties receive fact sheets and PowerPoint presentations as they become available.
    • The Utah version of the 2012 IECC contains that building air tightness & duct leakage testing be performed on all new residences. At the present time there are no set protocols for these testes. As a member of RESNET the UECC will be privy to newly developing ANSI standards on these tests and will work to have them incorporated into the current 2012 Utah version of the IECC (at the very least), or the upcoming 2015 IECC.
      •  It should be noted that the ICC has included in the 2015 IECC a home energy rating score as a compliance option.
  • Build up & develop a strong & supportive governing Board of Trustees.
    • Increase size of Board to 5 individuals diversified in make-up & experience
    • Provide training & education on role of Trustees
  • Work to Increase the penetration of the RESNET HERS Index into the Utah Housing Market.
    • The RESNET national home energy rating standards have become the housing industry’s national standard for measuring & marketing a home energy performance.
    • The UECC will continue to recruit builders to make the HERS Index commitment & undertake a marketing effort to educate consumers about the HERS Index, thus creating a market pressure for more builders to have their homes energy rated.
  • The UECC will expand its use of social media to assist in this effort:
    • www.utahenergy.org
    • LinkedIn membership
    • E-newsletters
    • Social Media Contacts
  • Provide opportunities for all employees to find growth (both financially & intellectually) in the all of the work tasks and employment they have within the Coalition while making giga-bucks and having as much fun as legally possible!

As an Organization the Utah Energy Conservation Coalition Values

Integrity in Word & Action
We Do What We Say
Respect for the Individual
Finding Meaning in Activity through Worthy Causes


Title Date and time
New Marketing Resources from ENERGY STAR Thursday, February 26, 2015; 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. EST

Harmful Bill to Further Delay Utah Energy Code Adoption is Introduced 

House Bill 285 sponsored by Representative Brad R. Wilson, proposes to delay the review and adoption of current model building codes in Utah from every three years to every nine years. Currently new homes are only built slightly better than the 2006 energy code. This bill could delay improvements until July 2025, leaving Utahns on the hook for higher energy bills and unnecessary air pollution!
Energy codes set energy-efficiency requirements for new home construction. Homes built today will be standing for decades to come, so it is extremely important to build them as well as possible. Through this bill, Utah home builders are seeking to avoid requirements to construct state-of-the-art homes. If successful, this bill will leave Utah families with outdated homes that unnecessarily waste energy. And as we know, homes that are energy-efficient not only save homeowners money, they also help improve our air quality by reducing the pollution from our buildings for years into the future. Stay tuned for updates on this bill and ways you can get involved to oppose this unnecessary delay.

How a Home Renovation Could Help You Save On Your Tax Bills!

Posted by RESNET
Jan 28, 2015 8:27:44 AM

FOR MANY PEOPLE, the idea of a home renovation and saving on their tax bill doesn’t seem possible, but it is. By making your home energy efficient, not only are you saving on your utility bills, but also reducing your tax burden. How can this be, you ask? Four words: residential energy tax credits.

So what are these magical things… residential energy tax credits? In a nutshell, they are financial incentives you can take advantage of to make your energy efficient upgrades more affordable. There are two types, as listed below:

1. Non-business Energy Property Credit
The Non-business Energy Property Credit allows homeowners to claim 10% of the cost of eligible property, not including cost of labor or installation. Eligible property includes:

  • Qualified energy-efficiency improvements:
    • Insulation that reduces a home’s heat loss or gain.
    • Exterior windows, skylights, or doors.
    • Storm windows and storm doors.
    • Metal and asphalt roofs with pigmented coatings or cooling granules designed to reduce heat loss or gain.
  • Residential energy property costs can include expenses for onsite labor costs such as preparation, assembly and original installation, and include:
    • Electric heat pumps.
    • Central air conditioners.
    • Natural gas, propane, or hot water boilers or oil furnaces.
    • Advanced main air-circulating fan used in a natural gas, propane, or oil furnace.
    • Biomass fuel stoves.

This credit has a lifetime limit of $500 for each year after 2005, which can be categorized as follows:

  • Windows: $200
  • Advanced main air circulating fan: $50
  • Qualified natural gas, propane for oil furnace, or hot water boiler: $150
  • Any item of energy efficient building property, i.e., water heaters and heating and air conditioning systems: $300

Should the total of nonbusiness energy property credits you have taken in previous years (after 2005) exceed more than $500, you cannot apply for this credit for 2014.

2. Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit
Apply a residential energy tax credit towards 30% of the cost of the following alternative energy equipment installed in or on their homes:

  • Solar electric property
  • Solar water heating property
  • Fuel cell property
  • Small wind energy property
  • Geothermal heat pump property

The Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit is valid until 2016 and places no dollar limit for most types of property. If your credit exceeds the tax you owe, you can carry forward the unused portion of this credit to next year’s tax return, with the exception of fuel cell property. Fuel cell property is limited to $500 for each one-half kilowatt of capacity of the property.

To learn more about how you can take advantage of residential energy tax credits to reduce your tax burden while improving your home’s energy efficiency, consult with a certified RESNET Home Energy Professional. You can also visit irs.gov for more information on residential energy tax credits.

The Phantom Menace:

Power-Sipping Gadgets Have Neutralized Decades of Electrical Efficiency Gains

Posted by Matt Power
Feb 5, 2015 4:17:03 PM

Big culprits include smart phones and notebooks left on chargers overnight, set-top boxes and game consoles.

TWENTY YEARS of better insulation, more efficient windows, advanced HVAC technology have really paid off. Most homes use a lot less energy per square foot to heat or cool indoor air than they did in the 1970s. That’s the good news. But the bad news is that during that time we’ve added electric gadget after gadget to our “normal” household environment.
A few meager efforts have been made to reign in standby power waste. And of course, there are a new “power saving” plugs such as the: Belkin F7C016Q Conserve Power Switch, intended to shut down phantom power. But the responsibility really should go back to the manufacturer. The reality is that most consumers won’t track or monitor how much electricity their dozens of devices are using, even if they are lucky enough to own a Kill-a-Watt power meter. This is not a minor issue. By some estimates, up to 75% of the power some home appliances use happens when the machine is idle.

– See more at: http://www.greenbuildermedia.com/news/phantom-menace-power-sipping-gadgets-hurt-efficiency#sthash.zSKaL4ti.dpuf

4th Quarter HOST Results Are In!

The ENERGY STAR Certified Homes Program has continued to see strong participation in the fourth quarter of 2014! EPA is pleased to announce that more than 20,000 ENERGY STAR certified homes were reported in Q4. During that same period, 178 new builder and developer partners and 7 new Rater partners from all over the country joined the ENERGY STAR program.

EPA would like to thank all of our ENERGY STAR Certified Homes partners for helping to protect the environment, while promoting the construction of new homes that are more energy efficient, comfortable, and have lower utility bills.

The Shift in Home Energy Consumption

For decades, space heating and cooling (space conditioning) accounted for more than half of all residential energy consumption. Estimates from the most recent Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS), collected in 2010 and 2011 and released in 2011 and 2012, show that 48% of energy consumption in U.S. homes in 2009 was for heating and cooling, down from 58% in 1993. Factors underpinning this trend are increased adoption of more efficient equipment, better insulation, more efficient windows, and population shifts to warmer climates. The shift in how energy is consumed in homes has occurred even as per-household energy consumption has steadily declined.

While energy used for space conditioning has declined, energy consumption for appliances and electronics continues to rise. Although some appliances that are subject to federal efficiency standards, such as refrigerators and clothes washers, have become more efficient, the increased number of devices that consume energy in homes has offset these efficiency gains. Non-weather related energy use for appliances, electronics, water heating, and lighting now accounts for 52% of total consumption, up from 42% in 1993. The majority of devices in the fastest growing category of residential end-uses are powered by electricity, increasing the total amount of primary energy needed to meet residential electricity demand. As described in yesterday’s Today in Energy, increased electricity use has a disproportionate effect on the amount of total primary energy required to support site-level energy use.

Other notable trends in household energy consumption include:

  • The average U.S. household consumed 11,320 kilowatthours (kWh) of electricity in 2009, of which the largest portion (7,526 kWh) was for appliances, electronics, lighting, and miscellaneous uses.
  • On average, residents living in homes constructed in the 1980s consumed 77 million Btu of total energy at home. By comparison, those living in newer homes, built from 2000 to 2009, consumed 92 million Btu per household, which is 19% more.
  • Space heating accounted for 63% of natural gas consumed in U.S. homes in 2009; the remaining 37% was for water heating, cooking, and miscellaneous uses.

In the past, EIA reported household energy data for the United States, for census regions and divisions, and for the four most populous states: California, Texas, New York, and Florida. In the 2009 RECS, EIA expanded the household data series to include 12 more states: Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

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