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State Backs Tougher Energy-Efficiency Codes


By Ryan Berlin Energy Efficiency
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Responding to the ongoing interest in energy efficiency in commercial and institutional facilities, Utah lawmakers recently passed a bill requiring the latest energy-efficiency standards in construction of new commercial buildings after July 1, a move advocates say represents a win for cleaner air.

Commercial construction codes now must adhere to at least the 2015 standard, but HB218 would bump that to 2018 requirements under the International Energy Conservation Code. The bill awaits the governor's signature, according to The Deseret News.

"It is great to see the state take this step," says Kevin Emerson, the energy efficiency program director for Utah Clean Energy. “Increasing the energy performance of new commercial buildings is a direct win for energy efficiency and improved air quality in Utah."

Emerson says the revised standards mean buildings will cost less to operate with lower utility bills and feature better quality materials.

"Utah Clean Energy works on cost-effective ways to reduce pollution, and updating building energy codes is one of the best tools available to cut energy waste, reduce pollution and lower building operating costs,” he said. Many commercial buildings that exist in Utah are built beyond even the minimum standards because of heightened interest in energy efficiency, Emerson says.

Ryan Berlin is managing editor of Facility Maintenance Decisions.

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