Revised Energy Code Could Cost Homeowners Some Green

May 13, 2012

Home Energy Costs PictureA revised code that could add $5,000 to new home prices in Illinois is in the works under the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).

The Illinois House of Representatives is expected to approve an extension to the proposed July 1, 2012 effective date of the IECC . The new extension, already approved by the state Senate, would push the IECC back to January 1, 2013.

The reason for the extension? According to the Home Builders Association of Illinois (HBAI) executive vice president Bill Ward, the extension will enable builders and municipal building departments to get better acquainted with the IECC.

While energy conservation is a crucial element to not only homeowners and builders, but the world as a whole, it does come with a price. According to the state, while the 2012 IECC specifications will result in new homes being 15% more energy efficient than homes built under the regulations of the 2009 code, it will add to the cost of new homes.

How much you may be asking? According to the HBAI, compliance with the 2012 IECC will between $5000 and $6,200 to the cost of a home. Code advocates claim the payback period will be swift, yet the HBAI argues it will take several years.

According to a report by BuilderOnline, the new costs are due to:

•Increased R-values in attic to R49 from R38: Add $1,000

•Increased R-values in basement to R15/19 from R10/3: Add $1,700

•Mandatory Blower-door and Ductblaster tests: Add $1,000

•Increased sealing of the house to meet the blower-door test requirement of three air changes per hour: Add $1,000

•Mandatory duct sealing, even when completely in conditioned space: Add $500

•Mandatory ducting and sealing of return air plenums and chases: Add $500

•Mandatory HVAC equipment size using Manual J: Add $500

It’s easy to see how these things add up quickly.

A feud has developed as builders, who see the revised code as being unrealistic to the pocketbook of families that lives in a home for an average of seven years, and energy code supporters who claim that builders often overestimate their costs and that homeowners will save in the long run.

What do you think Chicago? Is it worth it, in these tough economic times, to be so environmentally friendly? Please share your thoughts with us.

About The Author

Read All Stories By Mitch Levinson

Mitch Levinson is the author of “Internet Marketing: The Key to Increased New Home Sales” published by BuilderBooks. He is an Internet marketing expert with expertise in search engine optimization, website development, email marketing, social media and CRM consulting services. He is known for creating effective programs that can be tracked through analytics to prove effectiveness and ROI. Mitch is founder and president of MLC New Home Marketing and MLC FlatFee Realty, as well as managing partner of mRELEVANCE, LLC, a Marketing, Communication, Interactive agency with offices in Chicago and Atlanta. He currently leads the Chicago team. A Multi-Million Dollar Sales Producer who earned an MBA in Computer Information Systems and eCommerce, he brings a unique perspective and experience to the field of real estate communications. Mitch combines the two interests in order to help home builders and developers gain a competitive advantage through the Internet and technology. When he isn’t behind a computer, he enjoys participating in sports and coaching his kids’ teams. Mitch resides in Arlington Heights, Ill., a northwest suburb of Chicago, with his family, which includes two rambunctious labs. Visit my Google+ profile.

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