Energy efficiency, electrification rooted in state building code recommendations

The Michigan Environmental Council and 30 organizations and municipalities outlined the ways Michigan buildings codes could save residents and businesses money and fight climate change in a letter of recommendations sent to the state.

In a letter to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, the coalition urged the inclusion of robust energy efficiency and electrification provisions in the update of Michigan's energy conservation code, which governs the process of constructing homes and businesses across the state.

The group is specifically urging the state to adopt the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (which sets minimum requirements for energy efficient buildings) without weakening them and incorporate key additional amendments not currently in the models. Michigan has not updated its building energy codes since 2015.

The provisions would power buildings' lights, appliances and more on less energy. They would also make more of that energy come from electricity rather than sources like gas. The construction of buildings, too, would use less energy powered by dirty fossil fuels.

Other ways the coalition's recommended building codes improvements could improve the health of people, planet and personal finances is by readying solar installations on rooftops, energy storage in homes and businesses, and readying charging stations for Michigan's ever-growing fleet of electric vehicles.

Together, the provisions will significantly lower utility costs for Michigan residents and businesses; improve indoor air quality and protect public health; create new jobs in the state; support our auto industry; and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the building sector, a move in line with Gov. Whitmer's climate change fight and commitment to a state run of clean energy.

"With record breaking heat storms and mass flooding in Michigan, now is the time to use all the tools in the state's tool box to act on climate and ensure all Michiganders have access to healthy, comfortable, affordable homes and businesses," said Charlotte Jameson, program director for energy, drinking water and legislative affairs for the Michigan Environmental Council. "We stand ready to partner with LARA and the administration on this critical rulemaking."

A recent U.S. Department of Energy report found that $138 billion in savings could be generated over the next 30 years by adopting the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code the coalition is seeking Michigan to adopt. That averages out to $162 in savings per residential unit per year and keeps the equivalent of the annual output of nearly 200 million cars in carbon emissions out of the air.

Read the letter of recommendation:

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  • Beau Brockett
    published this page in News 2021-07-22 12:24:18 -0400