From our friends at Utah Clean Energy:

New Economic Analysis Highlights the Financial Benefits of the 2015 Energy Codes in Utah

I have good news and bad news. The good news is a recent analysis by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory found that adopting the 2015 energy code in Utah is “cost effective.” But what does this mean? It means that while slightly higher building costs may result in an increased down payment and mortgage, that money will be recouped within the first two years through energy cost savings. On average, each new home buyer would save $297 every year for the life of the home due to reduced energy costs! What’s more, we estimate that the new energy code will cut air pollutants by nearly 5 million pounds between 2017 and 2040, helping to keep our air cleaner.

The bad news is that a new bill, Building Code Review and Adoption Amendments, is being proposed to be added to the Special Legislative Session (likely to take place in September or October). Despite a provision in the bill to allow yearly review of energy codes, given the Utah Home Builders Association’s consistent opposition, this bill would essentially guarantee that the new energy code is shelved for six years. The result is needless air pollution from new homes and new homeowners paying higher energy costs! Instead of being rushed through the Special Session, we’re pushing to get the most up-to-date energy code adopted in tandem with lawmakers’ consideration of this bill.

By Kevin Emerson Utah Clean Energy’s Senior Policy Associate