Arizona Residential Energy Code Field Study
Across the United States, high utility bills are costing homeowners a significant portion of their monthly income. The average residential electricity bill in Arizona is $128 per month, making it the sixth-highest average in the nation. According to the most recent EIA Residential Energy Consumption Survey, about one in five households reported reducing or forgoing basic necessities like food and medicine to pay an energy bill. Improving compliance with Arizona’s energy codes will open 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.
Improving Energy Code Compliance in Arizona
IMT was awarded a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant in June 2019 to launch a study aimed at understanding Arizona’s statewide residential energy code compliance and to design and conduct a training, outreach, and education program to help close any gaps in compliance.
The project will follow on the work of eight initial studies completed in different states across the U.S. from 2014-2019. IMT led the project work in Alabama, helping to analyze the current code compliance and create trainings to improve compliance and assist in the education around the adoption of a new residential energy code. The expansion of data collection to Arizona will result in a greater understanding of residential construction issues in hot, dry climate zones, and compliance issues in home rule states where an article or amendment to the state constitution grants cities, municipalities, and/or counties the ability to pass laws to govern themselves as they see fit, so long as they obey the state and federal constitutions. The project in Arizona will be split into two phases:
Phase 1: Baseline Study (anticipated September 2019 – March 2020): The project team will conduct a baseline analysis residential construction in the state that will inform an analysis of potential energy savings that would result from better code compliance.
Phase 2: Training and Outreach (anticipated March 2020 – April 2022): We will provide targeted training and outreach to Utah’s building community, including designers, builders, code officials, trades, and other groups to try eliminating the identified gaps in compliance with the energy code.
How You Can Participate
PHASE 1: The project has begun the first phase which will include gathering data to understand compliance rates across the state. To achieve a statistically valid sample, a sampling plan has been developed by PNNL and accepted by the stakeholder group.
Building Departments: If your jurisdiction is on the sampling plan, our field data collection team from Nexant will be reaching out to you to request permit lists of active single-family construction projects. Any assistance you can give them in getting the information they need to complete the baseline assessment will be critical to the success of this work.
Builders: Once the permit lists have been obtained, our field data collection team will be reaching out to you to ask if they can have access to specific construction sites for field data collection. Any assistance you can give them in allowing them on site would go a long way in helping us quickly complete an accurate baseline assessment for the state.
Interested Parties: Interested in the results of the baseline? Have ideas or needs for training? Please reach out and we’ll keep you informed as the next steps occur.
If you have questions about the project, feel free to contact Kim Cheslak.
IMT met with stakeholders to explain the study goals and methods, and to gather input for the sampling plan to collect study data in Tempe, AZ on Thursday, September 19, 2019. Thanks to Salt River Project for sponsoring the event and to all who came out to participate. Find the slides from the kick-off meeting here.
IMT | SWEEP | Nexant | AE3Q | SRP
This material is based upon work supported by the Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), under Award Number DE-EE0008701. 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.