State building codes and clean power

Organization unveils tool for including codes in states' EPA Clean Power Plans


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The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy has released a step-by-step guide designed to help states document and claim emissions reductions resulting from building energy codes as a means of complying with their obligations under the proposed federal Clean Power Plan.

The council said the report is the first in a series of guidance documents that demonstrate how a state can take advantage of energy efficiency in its compliance plan.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposed Clean Power Plan establishes state-specific targets for carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. The proposed plan allows states to employ end-use energy efficiency to comply with the emissions targets, but provides little detail on how states would go about obtaining credit for these policies and programs.

By collecting 111(d) technical support documents, previous EPA guidance on crediting of air quality benefits from energy efficiency, and approved state implementation plans, the council said its tool provides states with a step-by step and comprehensive approach to including building codes in their plans.

"Our tool turns the open-ended essay that states are currently facing into a more manageable "fill-in-the-blank" approach," said council senior manager, Sara Hayes.

According to the council, adoption of building energy codes could help states meet their compliance goals by leading to significant emissions reductions from the electric power sector, since buildings consume roughly 70 percent of the nation's electricity.

The building codes template tools are available for download at aceee.org.

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