Alabama Residential Energy Code Field Study
Across the Unites States, high utility bills are costing homeowners a significant portion of their monthly income. In many regions, however, improving homes’ compliance with statewide energy codes opens up an array of benefits for homeowners, residents, local governments, and building officials, including:
- Reduced energy costs that yield monthly savings for owners and occupants and boost the local economy
- More comfortable and durable homes that better shield people from outdoor temperature extremes
- Greater market certainty through consistent implementation across jurisdictions
- A level playing field for all builders
Addressing Energy Code Compliance in Alabama
IMT was awarded a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant to implement a study methodology designed to understand Alabama’s statewide residential energy code compliance gaps; conduct a training, outreach, and education program to help close those gaps; and assess the outcomes of these activities.
From 2014-2018, IMT examined how a discrete investment in resources and activities aimed at increasing code compliance rates could result in a measurable improvement and associated energy savings across the state. Analysis of baseline data IMT gathered through this project indicated nearly $1.3 million in potential annual savings to Alabama homeowners that is possible through increased code compliance.
Following the baseline analysis, IMT and its project partners developed an education and outreach strategy that included training and technical assistance on energy codes at no cost to Alabama’s code officials, builders, construction trade professionals, and other stakeholders involved with residential construction. The training and technical assistance provided by the project was meant to enable stakeholders to realize potential savings through compliance with the new code across new residential construction within the state.
Download the Toolkit
While this toolkit of resources was developed to help builders and code officials across the state of Alabama increase code compliance rates, the information and strategies below could be used in other U.S. jurisdictions with minor modifications based on climate zone. The methodology of getting to greater compliance could be used without modification.
Resources for Home Builders
For builders who need to comply with the energy code, the below resources include training and educational materials to understand key areas of construction that are most critical to achieving code compliance and energy savings in Alabama.
- Key changes to the Alabama Residential Energy Code
- Duct Leakage and Envelope Tightness: How to Comply
- Lighting Efficiency Handout
Resources for Building Code Officials
For building officials who are reviewing or inspecting projects required to comply with the energy code, the resources below provide targeted areas of high non-compliance that should be diligently checked to ensure all residential construction is built to code.
- Key changes from the 2009 and 2015 Residential Energy Code
- Plan Review and Inspections for 2015 Residential Energy Code
Resources for State and City Governments
For states or localities that are considering completing an energy code compliance evaluation, the resources below provide a framework and describe the hands-on experience of working across a state to gather and share compliance data across one segment of construction.
- Baseline Field Study Report
- Final Field Study Report (Forthcoming)
- Final Report (IMT)(Forthcoming)
Find current resources on Alabama’s Energy and Residential Codes
Follow the Alabama Energy and Residential Code field study partners online
Learn more by contacting us
This material is based upon work supported by the Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), under Award Number DE-EE0006756. DOE has published results of seven similar efforts that have taken place across other states. This report was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof.