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Climate Change Legislation Calls for Energy Use Reduction in Commercial Buildings

Post Time:Jul 02,2009Classify:Industry NewsView:259

The House of Representatives' passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act brings with it challenges as well as opportunities for the glass industry. While there may be some concern over the cap-and-trade system (CLICK HERE to read related article), the bill, if signed into law, would also have a significant impact on commercial buildings-bringing opportunity for increased use of highly energy-efficient glazing.

Effective on the date of enactment, the law would call for a 30-percent reduction in energy use relative to a comparable building constructed in compliance with the baseline code (Note: baseline line code for commercial structures is the code published in ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2004). Effective January 1, 2015, for commercial buildings, this requirement increases to a 50-percent reduction in energy use relative to the baseline code. Effective January 1, 2018, and every three years thereafter through January 1, 2030, a 5-percent additional reduction in energy use relative to the baseline code for commercial buildings would be required.

In regards to zero-net energy buildings, the act states that the "secretary shall consider ways to support the deployment of distributed renewable energy technology, and shall seek to achieve the goal of zero-net-energy commercial buildings established in section 422 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (42 U.S.C. 17082)."

Technologies and design approaches that can help enable the construction of net-zero energy buildings may also represent an opportunity for the glass and fenestration industries. This could include further development of highly insulating glass and window packages, such as those with triple-glazed insulating glass units.

The legislation also notes a requirement for national energy efficiency building codes for both residential and commercial buildings. This would be established no later than one year after the deadline for establishment of each target (meeting the 50-percent energy use reduction and the additional 5-percent reduction every three years thereafter, as noted above). The national energy efficiency building code established to meet the 30-percent energy reduction target would take effect no later than 15 months after its effective date.

Source: http://www.usgnn.comAuthor: shangyi

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