GOODFIELD, IL – Beginning January 1st, 2013, the State of Illinois will enact a new law regarding Energy Efficiency in all newly constructed homes and remodeling. The Illinois Energy Conservation Code, which is a slightly modified version of the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code seeks to raise the energy efficiency of a new home by 15% over the previous code.
In 2009, the State of Illinois enacted its first statewide energy code with the goal of raising energy efficiency by 15%. The 2009 Illinois Energy Conservation Code was a Federal mandate by the Obama Administration and required for the State of Illinois to receive stimulus funds from the Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Ted Schieler, president of Homeway Homes and member of the Capital Development Board’s Energy Advisory Council, said, “The intent of this Code is to increase energy efficiency and the performance of new homes. The most notable method will be to reduce air leakage in the building envelope.”
Currently most homes exchange (or leak) air at a rate of seven or greater air changes per hour. The 2012 Code will require builders to reduce this to less than five air changes per hour. A combination of requirements, from increased insulation to additional caulking at certain construction points, will help achieve these results.
According to Schieler, builders in Illinois will have to comply with several new requirements, all of which will increase the overall cost of a new home. Here are some of the new requirements:
· Increase ceiling insulation from R-38 to R-49
· Increase basement insulation from R-10 to R-15
· Require Heating and Air Contractors to perform specific calculations to size HVAC equipment
· Require all framing cavities that are used for return air chases to be metal ducted
· Require all builders to hire a home energy rater to conduct tests and provide written results that the home has achieved the mandatory air changes of less than 5.
· Require additional testing of all ductwork, if it is not within the building envelope.
· Require the increase of energy efficient lamps in lighting fixtures
There are a few builders, including Homeway Homes, which already build to this stringent energy code. “As a 100% Energy Star Builder in Central Illinois, Homeway Homes already exceeds this code and promotes High-Perfromance Homes, through the use of its Energy Strength Spray Foam Insulation system,” said Schieler. “Homeway Homes are building extremely tight building envelopes and providing good indoor air quality through mechanical ventilation.”
The Home Builders Association of Illinois, local HBA’s, and the state’s Dept. of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) are already trying to educate not only builders, but municipal building inspectors as well, to this new code