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Increasing Energy Efficiency in New Buildings in the Southwest

Date Published: August 1, 2003     Document Type: Market Research Report, Report

Energy code adoption and enforcement in much of the Southwest is not far advanced in comparison with many other states. This report looks at energy codes and best practices in AZ, CO, NV, NM, UT, and WY. It shows a large potential for cost-effective savings from better energy codes and promotion of "beyond code" new buildings throughout the Southwest region. The analysis suggests that energy savings of well over 50% above base-case structures is cost-effectively achievable in the Southwest. It shows that a large number of efficient buildings are being built in certain jurisdictions as a result of well-designed and implemented public/private partnerships. The report urges the passing, supporting, and enforcing of up-to-date codes as well as expanding efforts to promote the construction of highly-efficient new buildings that significantly exceed minimum code requirements. Recommendations also include expanding training and technical assistance efforts to achieve high levels of code compliance; raising the ENERGY STAR threshold for the Southwest; and encouraging good evaluation that will suggest mid-course corrections to enhance the effectiveness of the code-approval process as well as programs aimed at promoting energy efficiency.