Buyers of new homes will save hundreds of dollars each year on energy bills as a result of newly updated state building energy standards that went into effect on Sunday. The new version of the Maryland Building Performance Standard will make new homes and offices approximately 15 percent more energy efficient than the previous standard.
“America’s buildings consume more than 40 percent of the total energy we use, and generate over half of Maryland’s global warming pollution” said Ewa Krason Field Organizer at Environment Maryland. “Maryland is the first state in the nation to take this critical step towards reducing and ultimately eliminating fossil fuel use in our buildings, which will result in real savings on energy bills for home and business owners.”
Included in the new energy conservation code are requirements for better insulation, more efficient lighting and windows, testing to identify and correct leaky air ducts, and other “off-the-shelf” technologies that will yield cost-effective energy savings for home and business owners alike. An optional green building standard will allow builders to stretch for even greater energy savings.
“Maryland building officials deserve tremendous credit for leading the country and taking action that will save building owners money while avoiding pollution from burning fossil fuels” said Krason. “We look forward to working with the Department of Housing and Community Development and other state officials to continue to promote high-performance, energy efficient buildings.”
Over 8,000 new homes were built in Maryland in 2010 alone. And while many forward-thinking builders have gone above and beyond the minimum requirements, most new buildings are built no better or worse than is required by the state’s building code. Improving the energy standards of these codes, therefore, is one of the most effective ways to reduce energy use, save home and business owners money, and prevent the global warming pollution that results from energy generation.