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BUILDING CODES

& ENERGY EFFICIENCY:


SOUTH CAROLINA
Updated September 14, 2010
ECONOMIC BENEFITS

Consumers save money by reducing utility bills, mini-


mizing the negative impacts of fluctuations in energy
supply and cost, and conserving available energy re-
sources. Retail and office buildings constructed to meet
the requirements of the IECC can be over 30 percent
more energy efficient than typical buildings not con-
structed to meet national model energy standards.

Monetary savings derived from codes increase a con-

B
sumer's purchasing power, and help expand the state’s
uildings account for roughly 40 percent of the economy by keeping local dollars in South Carolina.
total energy use in the United States and 70 per-
cent of its electricity use, representing a signifi- BUILDING INDUSTRY BENEFITS
cant opportunity for energy savings. Energy efficiency –
through the adoption and enforcement of strong building The national model code, the 2009 IECC, offers flexi-
energy codes – is the quickest, cheapest, and cleanest bility to South Carolina builders and design profession-
way to reduce energy consumption and achieve a sus- als, allowing them to optimize the cost-effectiveness
tainable, prosperous future. For South Carolina, the next of energy efficient features in their building products,
step should be the adoption of the latest U.S. model resi- and to satisfy a variety of consumer preferences.
dential and commercial energy codes – the 2009 Inter-
national Energy Conservation Code (2009 IECC) and The 2009 IECC also simplifies guidelines for builders,
ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007. providing a uniform code across the state with multiple
In February 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvest- options for compliance.
ment Act (Recovery Act) – federal legislation appropriat-
Uniformity throughout South Carolina will enable local
ing funds for a variety of state economic initiatives – allo-
jurisdictions to pool limited resources and combine
cated $3.1 billion for the U.S. Department of Energy
personnel to form county-wide, regional and statewide
(DOE) State Energy Program (SEP) to assist states with
enforcement and educational programs.
building energy efficiency efforts. As a condition of ac-
cepting $50 million1 in SEP funding, Gov. Mark Sanford
UTILITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS
certified to DOE2 that the state would implement energy
standards of equal or greater stringency than the latest
Energy codes improve the energy efficiency perform-
national model codes and achieve 90 percent compli-
ance of new buildings and reduce demand on power
ance in new and renovated residential and commercial
generators, therefore improving the air quality of lo-
building space by 2017.
cal communities and throughout South Carolina.
South Carolina must now start laying the groundwork to
successfully implement the building energy code plans Electricity use is a leading generator of air pollution.
submitted to DOE. It is in the state’s best economic inter- Rising power demand increases emissions of sulfur
est to adopt the 2009 IECC and Standard 90.1-2007 dioxide, nitrous oxides and carbon dioxide. Energy
statewide and begin the construction of a more efficient codes are a proven, cost-effective means for addressing
building sector. these and other environmental impacts.

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Washington, DC 20036
www.bcap-ocean.org
A MODEL STATE ENERGY CODE FOR SOUTH CAROLINA
Low-income households typically spend 17 per-
cent of their total annual income on energy, com-
pared with four percent for other households. Ac-
cording to some estimates, more than four-fifths of
energy expenses leave low-income communities.
Higher energy costs deprive these communities of
resources they need to generate additional economic
activity.

AN UNTAPPED RESOURCE
With energy prices projected to rise sharply over the
Angel Oak in Charleston, S.C. (Credit – Mark Requidan) medium- and long-term, reducing South Carolina’s
energy demand will also enhance the state’s energy

S
outh Carolina adopted its current energy stan- security and stimulate its economy.
dards – based on the 2006 IECC – in July
2009.3 The South Carolina Building Codes A limited DOE analysis of the changes from the
Council had planned to implement the rest of the 2009 state's current residential code to the 2009 IECC re-
International Code Council suite of construction codes sulted in estimated energy savings of 16 percent,
(except maintaining the 2006 IECC as the state’s en- or $207 a year for an average new house at recent
ergy code) beginning in 2011, but this process was fuel prices.8 Another DOE analysis of the changes
delayed indefinitely as of August 2010.4 The 2006 from the state's current commercial code to Standard
IECC, however, does not achieve the energy savings 90.1-2007 estimates cost savings of 2 percent.9
of the latest national model codes.
Energy codes also offer large-scale gains. BCAP esti-
The 2009 IECC and Standard 90.1-2007 improve sub- mates that if South Carolina began implementing the
stantially upon the 2006 IECC and provide a simpler, 2009 IECC and Standard 90.1-2007 statewide in
uniform path to benefit South Carolina households 2011 (making incremental steps toward 90 percent
and businesses through lower utility costs, increased compliance in 2017), the state would realize sub-
comfort, and better economic opportunity.5 stantial savings over BCAP’s business-as-usual
South Carolina can demonstrate leadership on en- scenario:
ergy efficiency issues by regularly improving the
By 2030, $418 million in annual energy cost savings for
state energy code (in coordination with the three-year
households and businesses, or $3.6 billion from 2011-
model code update cycles), thereby ensuring the con- 30.
sistency and ongoing enhancement of model building
practice. By 2030, annual CO2 emissions reductions of 2 million
metric tons, or 19 million from 2011-30.
HOUSEHOLD PROSPERITY
By 2030, residential sector source energy savings of 8
In 2008, South Carolina ranked 45th in the nation in percent, representing annual savings of 17 trillion Btu.
per capita personal income,6 yet ranked 24th in per
capita energy expenditures.7 Energy expenses com- By 2030, commercial sector source energy savings of 11
prise an economic drain on low-income communities. percent, representing annual savings of 21 trillion Btu.

** NOTES ** For more information, please visit www.bcap-ocean.org


1 6
US DOE (http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/progress_alerts.cfm/pa_id=190) US BEA (http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/regional/spi/2009/pdf/spi0309.pdf)
2 7
US DOE (http://www.energy.gov/media/Sanford_South_Carolina.pdf) US EIA (http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/states/sep_sum/html/pdf/rank_pr.pdf)
3 8
BCAP (http://bcap-ocean.org/state-country/south-carolina) US DOE (http://www.energycodes.gov/implement/state_codes/reports/
4
BCAP (http://bcap-ocean.org/news/2010/august/30/south-carolina-delays-2009 residential/Residential_South_Carolina.pdf) (page 20/21)
9
-i-codes-implementation-2006-iecc-remains) US DOE (http://www.energycodes.gov/implement/state_codes/reports/
5
BCAP (http://bcap-energy.org/node/330) commercial/Commercial_South_Carolina.pdf) (page 16/23)

1850 M St. NW Suite 600


Washington, DC 20036
www.bcap-ocean.org