New energy-efficiency requirements as part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 go into effect this summer for new single- and multifamily homes insured through or with financing provided by some federal housing programs.
All homes using the programs must meet the requirements of either the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code or ASHRAE 90.1 Standard for energy efficiency.
Because the requirements are keyed to updates in the model building codes, the departments of Housing and Urban Development and Agriculture – the two agencies that administer the affected programs – estimate that the new standards will affect about 3,200 multifamily and 15,000 single-family units per year.
That is because the new rules only affect homes built in jurisdictions that have not yet adopted the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code for single-family or low-rise multifamily (three stories or less) or the 2007 ASHRAE 90.1 standard for mid- and high-rise multifamily construction.
South Carolina has adopted the 2009 IECC.
The Department of Energy says that only 12 states have building codes not meeting the requirements, although some jurisdictions within those states may already exceed them.
Excluded are homes built under HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher Program, Indian Housing Programs, Community Development Block Grant Funds, or USDA multifamily housing programs.
HUD and USDA also will accept certain programs and properties as being in compliance if they meet equivalent or higher energy-efficiency standards. This includes homes built under the Public Housing Capital Fund, Section 811 Supportive Housing, Choice Neighborhoods and any unit built to Energy Star, Enterprise Green Communities, LEED or the performance path of the ICC-700 National Green Building Standard.
The agencies issued a Notice of Final Determination earlier this month establishing the standards as well as a timeline for when they are effective.
The notice included a nod to the National Association of Home Builders’s comments written last year when the preliminary determination was unveiled: NAHB asked for more time to allow builders and developers to make changes to their plans, and the final notice allows four months after the May 6 effective date for developers to file for FHA insurance under the existing program and grandfathers in seven months for single-family builders that already have obtained building permits.
It also acknowledges NAHB’s request to ensure cost effectiveness in any new requirements, estimating that the changes result in a payback of 5.2 years for low-rise residential, well within NAHB policy of 10 years.