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BUILDING CODES

& ENERGY EFFICIENCY:
CONNECTICUT
Updated January 5, 2010
ECONOMIC BENEFITS
Consumers save money by reducing utility bills,
minimizing the negative impacts of fluctuations in
energy supply and cost, and by conserving available
energy resources. Retail and office buildings con-
structed to meet the requirements of the IECC can
be over 30 percent more energy efficient than
typical buildings not constructed to meet national
model energy standards.

Monetary savings derived from codes increase a

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uildings account for roughly 40 percent of the consumer's purchasing power, and help expand the
total energy use in the United States and 70 state’s economy by keeping local dollars in Con-
percent of our electricity use, representing a necticut.
significant opportunity for energy savings. Energy effi-
BUILDING INDUSTRY BENEFITS
ciency—through the adoption and enforcement of
strong building energy codes—is the quickest, cheap- The national model code, the 2009 IECC, offers
est and cleanest way to reduce energy consumption and flexibility to Connecticut builders and design profes-
achieve a sustainable and prosperous future. For the sionals, allowing them to optimize the cost-
state of Connecticut, the next step should be the adop- effectiveness of energy efficient features in their
tion of the U.S. model energy codes—the 2009 Inter- building products, and to satisfy a variety of con-
national Energy Conservation Code (2009 IECC) sumer preferences.
and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007.
The 2009 IECC also simplifies guidelines for build-
In February 2009, the American Recovery and Rein- ers, providing a uniform code across the state with
vestment Act (Recovery Act) – the federal stimulus multiple options for compliance.
legislation appropriating funds for a variety of state
initiatives – allocated $3.1 billion for the U.S. Depart- Uniformity throughout Connecticut will enable local
ment of Energy’s State Energy Program (SEP) to assist jurisdictions to pool limited resources and combine
states with building energy efficiency efforts. As one personnel to form county-wide, regional, and state-
of the requirements to receive this funding, Gov. M. wide enforcement and educational programs.
Jodi Rell certified to DOE1 that Connecticut would im-
plement energy standards of equal or greater strin-
UTILITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS
gency than the latest national model codes—the 2009 Energy codes improve the energy efficiency per-
edition of the IECC and Standard 90.1-2007. formance of new buildings and reduce demand on
power generators, therefore improving the air qual-
Having already received $19.3 million2 in SEP funds, ity of local communities throughout Connecticut.
Connecticut is eligible for $38.6 million in total grants
upon demonstration of the successful implementation Electricity use is a leading generator of air pollution.
of its energy plans submitted to DOE. It is in Connecti- Rising power demand increases emissions of sul-
cut’s best economic interest to adopt the 2009 IECC fur dioxide, nitrous oxides and carbon dioxide. En-
and Standard 90.1-2007 statewide and begin enjoy- ergy codes are a proven, cost-effective means for
ing the benefits of an efficient building sector. addressing these and other environmental impacts.
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A MODEL STATE ENERGY CODE FOR CONNECTICUT

A panorama off a side of Bear Mountain in northwest Connecticut (Credit—Creative Commons)

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onnecticut’s current energy code3—the 2005 Although energy intensity and per capita energy con-
Connecticut State Building Code—was sumption are among the lowest in the nation, and the
amended in August 2009 to include the 2006 state does not rely heavily on any one fuel for electric-
IECC. This code, however, does not achieve all of the ity generation, Connecticut still bears the second-
energy savings potential of the 2009 IECC and highest residential electricity prices (almost 70 percent
Standard 90.1-2007. above the national average).8 Besides paying the sec-
ond-highest overall energy prices (almost 40 percent
The 2009 IECC4 improves substantially upon the above the national average)9 and the threat of regional
state’s codes and makes it simpler to provide Con- blackouts, the state is still vulnerable to future fluc-
necticut households and businesses lower utility costs, tuations in energy costs and peak demand. Reduc-
increased comfort, and better economic opportunity. A ing local demand for electricity and natural gas will
limited DOE analysis5 of the changes from the state's decrease costs for consumers and increasing profits for
current residential code to the 2009 IECC resulted in businesses.
estimated energy savings of 13 percent, or about
$235 a year for an average new house at recent fuel AN UNTAPPED RESOURCE
prices. Another DOE analysis6 of the changes from the
state's current commercial code estimates energy sav- Energy prices are projected to rise sharply over the
ings of five percent from Standard 90.1-2007. next decade. By using energy codes to increase the
significant potential energy supply improved build-
When states regularly update and enforce their energy ing energy efficiency produces, Connecticut can en-
codes (in coordination with the three-year model code hance its energy security by reducing energy demand
update cycles), they ensure the consistency and contin- within its borders. Wise management of statewide en-
ued enhancement of the benefits of model building ergy policy should include seizing the low-hanging
practice. By maintaining this commitment, Connecti- fruit that is the energy savings improved building en-
cut can demonstrate leadership on energy effi- ergy codes offer. Among the opportunities:
ciency issues by meeting national standards.
If Connecticut began implementing the 2009 IECC
ENERGY CONSUMPTION, PRICES & SUPPLIES and Standard 90.1-2007 statewide in 2011, busi-
nesses and homeowners would save an estimated
Connecticut has no fossil fuel reserves but does have $51 million annually by 2020 and an estimated
minor renewable energy resources and an ambitious $104 million annually by 2030 in energy costs
renewable portfolio standard. The state economy is not (assuming 2006 energy prices).
energy-intensive, making residential buildings the
leading sector in energy consumption. Natural gas is Additionally, implementing the latest model codes
used mostly for electricity generation and residential would help avoid roughly 10 trillion Btu of pri-
home heating, supplied almost completely from out of mary annual energy use by 2030 and annual emis-
state from the U.S. Gulf Coast region, Canada, and the sions of roughly 675,000 metric tons of CO2 by
Appalachian Basin.7 2030.
** NOTES ** For more information, please visit www.bcap-ocean.org
1 6
US DOE (http://www.energy.gov/media/Rell_Connecticut.pdf) US DOE (http://www.energycodes.gov/implement/state_codes/reports/commercial/
2
US DOE (http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/progress_alerts.cfm/pa_id=190) Commercial_Connecticut.pdf)
3 7
BCAP (http://bcap-energy.org/node/58) US EIA (http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/state/state_energy_profiles.cfm?sid=CT)
4 8
BCAP (http://bcap-energy.org/node/330) US EIA (http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/state/state_energy_rankings.cfm?keyid=18&orderid=1)
5 9
US DOE (http://www.energycodes.gov/implement/state_codes/reports/residential/ US EIA (http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/states/sep_sum/html/pdf/rank_pr.pdf)
Residential_Connecticut.pdf)

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