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San Antonio Analysis

San Antonio Analysis

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Published by: bcap-ocean on May 30, 2012
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10/15/2013

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SanAntonioResidentsBuying2012IECCHomesWillSaveThousands
AnAnalysisofHomeownerProfitafterPayingIncrementalConstructionCostsForNewSingleFamilyHomesMeetingtheBuildingEnergyCode
HIGHLIGHTS
 
Energycostsavingsfora2012IECChomeareestimatedtobe$248peryear($21permonth),whencomparedtohomesmeetingthecurrentenergycode.
 
Break-evenoninvestment—theadditionaldownpaymentandslightmortgagepaymentincrease—occursin11months.
 
Afterthebreak-evenpoint,homeownersachieveanetprofit(energysavingslessmortgagecosts)of$205annually.
 
2012IECChomebuyerspocket$5,961innetprofitsoverthelengthofa30yearmortgageterm.SUMMARYSanAntonio,TXresidentsbuyingnewsinglefamilyhomesmeetingthe2012InternationalEnergyConservationCode(IECC)willpocketbetween$5,961innetenergysavingsovera30yearmortgageterm,
accordingtoananalysisofenergysavingsandincrementalconstructioncostsbytheBuildingCodesAssistanceProjectandICF,International.
Thisreportassessesenergysavingsandincrementalconstructioncostincreasesofnew,2,400squarefootsinglefamilyhomesinSanAntoniothatmeetthelatestmodelenergycode,the2012IECC,comparedtothecurrentcodeineffect,the2009IECC.Thisanalysisfindsthatanaveragenewhomemeetingthe2012IECCwilladdlessthan1%tothecostofanewhome,costinganadditional$939overthecostsofhomesmeetingthecurrentenergycode.
Annualenergysavingsfor2012IECChomesaresignificant,andareestimatedinthisstudyatbetween$248peryear.
Theenergysavingsfromthe2012codeareenoughtopaybackthebuyer’sadditionaldownpaymentandslightlyincreasedmortgagecostinapproximately11months(
soonerifthehomebuyerputslessthan20%down
).
Afterthatdate,theownercontinuestopocketaprofit(energysavingsminusmortgagecosts)of$205annually—moneythatwouldotherwisegotopayhigherutilitybills.
Thesenetsavingswillbeevengreaterifenergycostsriseoverthenext30yearsconsistentwithhistoricaltrends.Stateddifferently,monthly
utilitybillsavingstothehomeowneraremorethanfivetimesasmuchastheadditionalmortgagepayment
neededtocovertheaddedfirst-costofenergysavingfeaturesincludedinthe2012code.
ENERGYSAVINGSANDCONSTRUCTIONCOSTMETHODOLOGY
Tocalculateenergysavingsandincrementalconstructioncosts,thisanalysisdefineda“typical”singlefamilyhousetorepresentnewresidentialdevelopmentinSanAntonio.Thehomemodeledistwostoriesinheight,withexteriordimensionsof30by40feetwithwood-framedwallsandslabongradefoundation.Themodelhome’ssizeandfoundationtypeisbasedonregionalconstructionpractices,anditcontains
 
 
2
 
2,400squarefeetinfloorarea—whichisalsotheapproximatesizeoftheaveragenewhomebuiltnationwide.Forthepurposesofthisanalysisweassumeabaselinehomethatmeetstherequirementsofthe2009IECC,whichisthecity’scurrentcode.Althoughsomeleadingbuildersaremeetingorexceedingmanyelementsofthe2012IECCalready,forpurposesofthisanalysisweassumeabaselinehomethatexactlymeetstherequirementsofthe2009IECC.EnergysavingsweremodeledbyICFInternational(ICFI),aninternationalenergyconsultingfirmwithextensiveexperienceintheuseofhourlybuildingenergysimulationsoftwaretoestimateenergyperformanceandenergysavingsofalternativebuildingcodesanddesignconcepts.Althoughthevaluesincludedintheanalysisrepresentacareful,independenttechnicaljudgmentbyICFIstaff,itshouldbekeptinmindthat–likeanysuchanalysis–theresultsdependonanumberofassumptionsaboutthephysicalfeaturesofatypicalnewhome,operatingpractices,energyprices,andotherfactors.Boththeexisting2009IECCandthenew2012IECCcodesallowabuildertochooseamonganumberofalternativestocomplywiththecode.Inthiscase,ICFIconservativelychosetocomparetheresultsfromtheprescriptivepathofeachversionofthecode.ICFIusesBeaconTM,anhourlysimulationmodelthatutilizesDOE-2orEnergyPlus,andsummarizesbuildingperformanceintermsofestimatedannualenergycosts,basedonlong-termaverageweatherconditionsinagivenclimatezone(city),DOE/EIAstatelevelenergycosts.ICFIalsoestimatesenergyconsumptionbyend-use,fueltype,electricitypeakdemand,andairconditionersizeineachprototypehome.Moredetailsofthemodelingassumptionsusedinthisanalysisareavailableonrequest.
INCREMENTALCOSTS
Usingthe2,400squarefootmodelhomeasabaseline,wecalculatedincrementalcostsbyidentifyingthebuildingcomponentsthatwouldhavetobeupgradedfromthecurrent2009IECC,accordingtotheprescriptiverequirementsinthe2012IECC.Toestimateincrementalcosts,werelyonconstructioncostsfromthewell-regarded
2012RSMeansContractor’sPricingGuide
toapproximateactualcostsofnewhomeconstruction.Thisresourceisknowntobeconservativeandisusefulforthisanalysisbecauseallestimatedconstructioncostsareinclusiveofmaterialcosts,labor,andcontractoroverheadandprofit.
1
Forthisanalysis,RSMeansdataissupplementedbyadditionalcallstolocalbuildingsuppliersandexperts.
Windows
SanAntoniocontractorswillneedtomakeupgradestoinstalledwindowstomeettheimprovedU-factorandSHGCfactorsinthe2012IECC.U-factorforwindowsisupgradedfrom0.65underthecurrentcodeto0.40underthe2012IECCandtheSHGCfactorisimprovedfrom0.30to0.25.ThisaddedcostisconservativelyestimatedbytheEfficientWindowsCollaborative(EWC)asnomorethan$1.00persquarefootofwindowarea.Itisimportanttonotethatmanybuildersmayalreadyinstallwindowsthatmeetthe2012IECC’sslightly-improvedrequirements,butinanefforttobeconservative(andstrictlycomparethetwocodes)thisanalysisassumesthatbuildersarecurrentlyusingtheleast-costwindowtomeetexistingcoderequirements.
2
Totalwindowincrementalcostsareestimatedas$357.
 
1
RSMeansalsoincludesalocationfactor,whichprovidesanestimateoflocalcostsasapercentageofRSMeansnationalaverageestimates.Forthisanalysis,thelocationfactorforSanAntoniois79%,indicatingthatconstructioncostsinthecityareapproximately21%lowerthanthenationalaverage.
2
Asaresult,manybuilderswillbeabletoreduceoravoidincrementalcostsforbetterwindows.
 
 
3
 
WholeHouseAirLeakageandVentilation
Weestimatethattheadditionalrequiredairsealinginthe2012IECCandtherequiredtestingforwholehouseairleakage(commonlyknownas“blowerdoor”)andductleakagewilladdabout$350pernewhome.
3
Becausetheresultinghomewillhavefewerairandductleakstotheoutside,mechanicalventilationwillhavetobeimproved,acostweestimateat$180forupgradingonebathroomventfantoaunitwithanEnergyStarratingalongwiththeinstallationofasimplecontrollerwhichissettoautomaticallyexhaustindoorair.
4

HotWaterDistributionLines
Anadditional2012IECCcodechangewillrequirebuilderstoinsulatehotwaterdistributionlinestokitchens.Webelievethecostimpactofthischangeissmall,asR-3insulationcostslessthan50centsperlinearfootandmostinsulationproductscanbe“clipped”aroundsupplypipesaftertheplumbingrough-in.
5
Asaresult,thiscostisestimatedat$100pernewhome.
LightingandProgrammableThermostats
Builderswillhavetoinstallhigh-efficiencylampsin75percentofhard-wiredfixtures,upfrom50percentinthe2009IECC.Usually,thisrequirementismetwithcompactflorescentlights(CFLs).Ouranalysisestimatesthattheupgradeoflampsin25percentoffixtureswillcostnomorethan$25.Builderswillalsohavetoupgradeconventionalthermostatstoprogrammablethermostats,acostwhichisestimatedas$50.
AtticInsulation
The2012IECCalsorequiresbuilderstoupgradeblown-inceiling(attic)insulationfromR-30toR-38,whichisestimatedbyRSMeanstocostanadditional$284pernewhome.
CostSavings
Fortunately,the2012IECCwillalsointroducecostsavingsforbuilders.Whilecomplyingwiththe2012IECCincreasesfirst-costinsomeareas,thenewcodealsopresentsopportunitiesto
reduce
costsforHVACequipmentasaresultofanimprovedbuildingenvelope.Amongotherpossiblesavings,builderswillbeabletoreducethesizeofcostlymechanicalequipment.FortheprototypehouseinSanAntonio’sclimatezone2,builderswillbeabletoreducethecoolingsystemcapacityfromanaverageof48,000kBtuhto39,000kBtuhorfrom4toapproximately3.5tons.Thisreductioninairconditionercapacitycanresultinfirst-costsavingsofone-halfton,whichisexpectedtosaveapproximately$408fortheaveragenewhouse.
6

 
3
$350isacommonlyusedasanexpectedairsealingandtestingcostfornewsingle-familydetachedhomesnationwide.
4
VentilationsystemandcostsaredescribedinanAugust2005reportfromLawrenceBerkeleyNationalLaboratory“ReviewofResidentialVentilationTechnologies.”Althoughthecostsofthesecomponentshavedecreasedinrecentyears,the2005estimate($180pernewhome)isquotedinthisanalysis.
5
Itisdifficulttodeterminewhatcombinationofredesign,resizing,and/orpartialinsulationofhotwaterlineswouldbedoneinatypicalnewhome.Insulatingdistributionlinestothekitchenandverylongrunswouldaddcostswhiledownsizinglineswouldreducecosts;inanycasewebelievetheneteffectwouldbesmall.
6
 
EPAconservativelyestimatesfortheirEnergyStarHomesVersion3thatfirst-costsavingsfordownsizinga13SEERairconditionerare$815perton.By“right-sizing”theHVACequipment,buildingoccupantswillalsobenefitfromareductioninequipmentshort-cycling(i.e.,whereequipmentistoolargeforthecoolingloadandcyclesonandofffrequently,thuswastingenergyandlosingsomeofitsabilitytodehumidifyindoorair).Pleasenotethatadditionalcostsavingscouldbeobtainablefromdownsizingheatingequipment,butthisstudydoesnotattempttocalculatethosesavings.

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