Updated Home Energy Efficiency Standards Could Affect 1 in 4 Homes

The final energy efficiency standards for new home construction have been announced by the US Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Agriculture (USDA). These updated standards are projected to affect approximately a quarter of all new homes across the country and are expected to reduce energy bills by up to a third. On average, the savings from efficiency improvements will cover the costs within two years.

According to Clean Technica, the new standards are based on the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2019. The previous standards were outdated, relying on two codes that are over 15 years old: the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2007. According to the US Department of Energy, model codes have come leaps and bounds since then: they reduce new buildings’ energy use by a third for taller apartment buildings and by more than a quarter for single-family houses and low-rise apartment buildings.

Despite the potential for serious energy savings, most homes built today do not need to comply with the 2021-era codes. In fact, only six states have residential codes that approach the updated standards’ efficiency. This update from HUD and USDA will raise the bar and save energy for affordable homes in the other 44 states.

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