The impact of the new regulations for building more energy efficient homes has not seen the resistance expected by naysayers in the industry. Originally the new mandates were expected to increase the cost of compliance for the builders by up to $10,000 per new residential home. However, the energy commission decided to downgrade the standards to reduce the expense to a 25% increase which would add $2,290 to 2,700 to the building cost. This would mean a return greater than $6,200 in energy savings over the course of a 30 year mortgage according to the California Energy Commission officials. Initially, builders were leary that they could even build homes with these new added expenses and sell them considering this is the worst real estate downturn since the Great Depression according to the Sacramento Business Journal. However, when the energy commsion lowered the standards and builders realized that there is a strong demand for marketing green buildings, they lowered their resistance.
The new requirements consists of: solar ready roof spaces of at least 250 square feet, insulated water pipes to save water and energy and reduce the time it takes to deliver hot water, and verfifcation that air conditioners are operating efficiently. Recommended, but not required is a whole house fan, improved windows and insulated walls.
All this doesn’t mean that we in California have perfected the art of building green, but it does seem that we are moving in the right direction. Hopefully, other states will follow suit and help create a building industry that is striving to put less of a burden on our environment.
For the full article, please visit the Business Journal website.