Texas Law Aims to Curb New-Home Energy Use

December 19, 2011

Homes and buildings in Texas account for about 40 percent of the state’s overall energy use, but the state wants to curb that and is cracking down on energy consumption among new single-family homes via a new code in January. 

Texas will adopt a new building code in January to curtail energy consumption of any new single-family homes by more than 15 percent,  according to the Energy Systems Laboratory at the Texas A&M University System. In April, the state already took steps to tighten energy codes for commercial and industrial buildings. 

The Houston City Council also recently passed a requirement that mandates new homes have to be about 5 percent more efficient than the upcoming revised statewide code too. The Houston City Council says it will also consider more requirements that will eventually make the city about 15 percent above the state code in energy savings. 

Builders, however, are concerned about the more stringent codes. Energy efficiency increases need to be balanced with economic considerations, Scott Norman, executive director of the Texas Association of Builders, told the Texas Tribune. Such new energy-saving requirements can add a few thousand dollars to the upfront cost of a new home, and in a sluggish economy, that can price people out of the market, Norman said.

Source: “New Code Aims to Cut Energy Use,” Texas Tribune (Dec. 17, 2011)

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