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DOE workshop calls attention to improving residential energy efficiency

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) continues along a path toward a more energy efficient America this week by hosting a workshop focused on improving energy efficiency in our country’s residential sector.

The three-day workshop, Residential Energy Efficiency Solutions: From Innovation to Market Transformation, is part of DOE’s Better Buildings Initiative – a program within the office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) that aims to reduce or eliminate barriers to making our buildings more energy efficient.

As America’s energy supply struggles to keep pace with demand, increasing efficiency in the commercial and residential sectors should become a critical part of our country’s national energy strategy. It is, in fact, one of the more practical, readily available means by which to help secure our country’s energy future.

For starters, buildings consume 40 percent of our nation’s energy, which means that making them more energy efficient can yield tremendous economic and environmental benefits.

Maryland is helping to lead the pack when it comes to upping standards for building efficiency. It was the first state to require that new homes meet the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), enabling new homes to operate at approximately 30 percent greater energy efficiency than those built just five years prior. Other states are taking notice, and adoption is beginning to spread to states including Florida, North Carolina, Oregon and parts of Arizona.

Implementation of the latest energy efficiency building codes promises to boost energy savings for home and building owners, create jobs and reduce greenhouse gases, thanks to the products of chemistry.

Chemistry continues to make possible the products and technologies that are helping to create a strong, secure and sustainable future for the United States. And the DOE workshop, which will spotlight new innovations in energy efficiency — from more efficient windows, doors, roofing, piping and lighting — will no doubt showcase chemistry’s contributions to those new technologies.

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