The state’s Building Codes Council agreed today to require higher energy efficiency in new buildings. Starting in 2012, commercial buildings must be 30% more energy efficient than they’re required to be today. New homes must be 15% more efficient. That means more insulation, better windows, and other changes.
Appalachian State Professor Jeff Tiller helped lead the panel that wrote the new codes:
"The first cost is a little higher, but of course, once a homeowner buys it and finances it with a mortgage, their extra mortgage cost is gonna be far outpaced by the energy savings. So for the homeowner, it’s the cheapest home they can buy."
Tiller’s panel originally proposed a 30% improvement for all buildings, but some homebuilders said that could put starter homes out of the reach of some buyers. The changes are projected to add $1 to $2 per square foot to the price of a new home. Next month, the Council will consider other changes to help builders offset the added cost.