California continues to push its green design and sustainability agenda into new territory. As the GreenBiz blog published (which was a reprint of a blog entry written by Natural Resources Defense Council Staff Blog (NRDC)), the California Energy Commission (CEC) recently voted to approve new energy efficiency standards for residential and commercial buildings.
While California already had energy efficiency standards in place, these new standards will supersede the 2013 standards and go into effect January 1, 2014. CEC estimates that “Californians can expect energy savings of 25 percent for homes, 30 percent for commercial buildings, and 14 percent for low rise multifamily buildings.” These percentages should result in billions of dollars of savings for California residents and building owners.
As NRDC states: “It's forward thinking policies like these that enable California to hold per capita electricity use essentially flat over the past 30 years while the rest of the nation saw per capita electricity use increase by nearly 50 percent.”
NRDC includes two highly informative infographics that detail how the standards will be implemented with building materials and processes and the anticipated savings for such changes.
CEC estimates that these new standards will add $2,290 in additional costs to the construction of a new home. However, they estimate a savings of $6,200 over the course of a 30-year loan. In other words, for an average monthly increase of $11 over a 30-year mortgage, the new standards will save $27 per month on heating, cooling, and electricity bills. The CEC has published a useful FAQ about the new standards, which you can download