Energy Efficiency
December 24, 2014


Decoding energy standards for CRE


Anthony Floyd
Anthony Floyd, Scottsdale Green Building Program, Office of Environmental Initiatives member, American Institute of Architects (AIA)

Last year, SB 1133 (striker amendment of SB 1227) was introduced to restrict the ability of cities to update energy codes and standards. It would have prohibited cities from adopting current energy codes, setting cities back three to four years while allowing new buildings to be constructed under outdated codes. The bill was shortsighted and would have been a major setback for energy savings, occupant comfort and building performance.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently determined that commercial buildings built to the 2013 edition of the ANSI/ASHRAE/ IES 90.1 energy standard would result in national source energy savings of approximately 8.5 percent and site energy savings of approximately 7.6 percent, as compared with buildings built to the 2010 edition. Upon this determination, states will be required to certify that they have reviewed the provisions of their commercial building code and, as necessary, update their codes to meet or exceed standard 90.1-2013.

For low-rise residential buildings, DOE has preliminarily determined that the low-residential buildings built to the 2015 edition of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) would result in national source energy savings of approximately 1.03 percent and site energy savings of approximately 1.12 percent as compared with buildings meeting the 2012 IEC. If this determination is finalized, each state will be required by statute to certify that it has reviewed the provisions of its current residential building codes and, as necessary, update their code to meet or exceed the 2015 IECC.

Arizona Revised Statute 9-461.05 requires that each city adopt a comprehensive, long range general plan that serves as the city’s guide for long range growth and development. The general plan must include energy, conservation and environmental planning. Cities around the state are setting long-term energy goals including the adoption of the International Energy Conservation Code, ASHRAE 90.1 and Energy Star certification programs.

There must be long-term thinking in the interest of consumers, residents and business owners. Any proposed state legislation designed to preclude local governments from adopting national vetted energy codes/standards and energy/environmental planning initiatives will violate both federal directives and state statutes while only serving the short-term interest of a selected few.