Wisconsin considers new energy conservation codes

On Tuesday, Dec. 10, the Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code Council will meet in Madison to discuss changes to the state’s building code, such as updates to its residential energy conservation codes for new construction. Keeping these energy codes current would enhance the energy efficiency of buildings, saving substantial energy costs for homeowners.

Updating energy codes has widespread support from consumers, businesses and manufacturers of energy-saving technologies across Wisconsin. According to Kirk Grundahl, president of Qualtim, an engineering, design and structural testing company:

If we delay updating Wisconsin’s energy codes, we risk falling behind other states that are adopting innovative technologies to enhance energy efficiency performance. Newly constructed homes in Wisconsin should have the most recent energy conservation materials and requirements that homebuyers in neighboring states will have.

Jake Kuhaupt, regional manager of Minn.-based IDI Distributors, agrees, adding:

Updating Wisconsin’s energy codes would benefit everyone. It would help stimulate the economy by creating jobs, and help homeowners save money. It’s a win-win situation.

Energy efficiency is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to reduce energy consumption and achieve savings. States like Wisconsin have long recognized the importance of updated energy codes, and the tremendous economic savings for businesses and homeowners in states that have automatic code updates to keep pace with new technologies.

The cost of moving to updated requirements, which is generally assumed by the buyer, is far outweighed by the significant energy savings pocketed by homeowners and businesses.

A study by the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that “building energy codes will produce a financial benefit to owners of nearly $2 billion annually by 2015, rising to over $15 billion annually by 2030.”

Across the country, homeowners and businesses have continued to invest in energy-saving technologies, most of which are enabled by chemistry, and we hope that Wisconsin does the same by upgrading its energy codes.

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