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  • Writer's pictureTimothy McNamara

Why are We Being Forced To Build Tighter?

Utility companies, also known as energy companies, have a vested interest in the development and implementation of stricter energy codes. These codes, which are often set by local or national governments, dictate the energy efficiency standards that buildings and homes must meet in order to be considered up to code.

One of the main reasons utility companies support, and lobby for stricter energy codes is that they can lead to increased energy efficiency and conservation. By setting higher standards for buildings, homes, and appliances, energy codes can help to reduce the overall demand for energy. This can lead to lower energy costs for both the utilities and their customers, as well as a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Another reason utility companies support stricter energy codes is that they can help to promote the use of renewable energy sources. By requiring buildings to meet certain energy efficiency standards, utility companies may be able to encourage the use of solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources to meet those standards. This can help to increase the overall use of renewable energy, which can have a positive impact on the environment.

Furthermore, Utility companies also see potential in stricter energy codes as they can create a potential market for their services. By promoting energy efficiency and conservation, utility companies may be able to increase their customer base and revenue. Moreover, stricter energy codes might also increase the need for energy-efficient appliances and systems, which can provide additional revenue streams for utility companies.

Despite the potential benefits of stricter energy codes, there are some challenges that must be overcome in order to implement them. One of the main challenges is the cost. Building and homeowners may be required to invest in expensive upgrades in order to meet the new standards, which can be a financial burden. Additionally, there may be resistance from some groups who feel that the new standards are too restrictive or unnecessary.

Take a look at the graph below provided by the EPA, which indicates the share of greenhouse gas emissions by sector in the United States.

You will notice that commercial and residential combined create a total of 13% of all emissions. Other graphs indicate that the residential-only portion of emissions is actually closer to 5-6%. So, we need to ask ourselves, why are we imposing such strict codes on the smallest piece of the pie? Will these changes actually make a difference? Are there groups that are taking advantage of the green movement simply to pad their bottom line? Is this the easiest way to pass off the cost, to the most vulnerable group?

I do believe in a cleaner planet; however, we should not lose sight of the fact that utility companies stand to benefit greatly from the green movement. They have a strong interest in lobbying for stricter energy codes as they can lead to increased energy efficiency while promoting the use of renewable energy sources and ultimately increasing revenue. The implementation of stricter energy codes clearly comes with challenges that need to be addressed.

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