Working in healthcare, I hear every day how people expect doctors to have access to the latest knowledge and tools. Why should we accept any less from people who build our homes -- the greatest investment most of us ever make?
Unfortunately, Utahns can’t have the same level of confidence in homes because our state is still operating under a vastly outdated home energy code from 2006. This means many new homes are being built below the latest standard in energy efficiency, resulting in higher energy bills, more air pollution and less comfortable homes.
Like many Utah residents, I’ve invested thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of valuable time into making my home more energy efficient because it will save me more in the long run. All of this effort could be avoided if common sense measures like upgraded windows, increased insulation and improved air tightness were built into homes from the start.
What's at Stake
If Utah continues to use 6 year-old energy standards new homeowners will be stuck with higher energy bills of $351 to $629 per year! At a time when Rocky Mountain Power is poised to increase energy rates, we should be doing everything we can to cut energy costs.
This summer a little known commission, the Uniform Building Code Commission, will make a recommendation to Utah lawmakers on whether to update the state’s home energy code. We need to make sure Utah lawmakers consider the long-term interests of Utah families.
For the past two years, lobbyists in the capital have stood in the way. Let’s not let that happen again. It’s time we protect the general welfare of Utah residents.
Will you join me in calling for better homes to be built in Utah?
As it stands now, Utah’s home energy code is over 6 years old and many residents are sacrificing comfort and paying hundreds more than they should on their energy bills each year as a result.
The vast majority of Utah voters (76%) want to see the home energy code updated, even if it increases the cost of the home.
Good news, any increase in the upfront cost of a home built to the 2012 code would be paid back in less than 2 years from the energy savings. Homes built to the 2012 energy code are estimated to save homeowners between $351 and $629 per year on energy bills compared to homes meeting the current energy code.
I understand that, in the coming months, the Uniform Building Code Commission will be providing recommendations to the Utah Legislature about this issue. I urge you not to ignore the long-term positive impacts of better construction practices. Please protect the general welfare of Utah residents by adopting the latest 2012 home energy code. This would not only lower energy bills and improve the quality of life for thousands of Utah homeowners, it would also help keep energy costs low for all our state’s residents.