El Paso becomes first large city in Texas to adopt 2012 Energy Codes… sort of..

The City of El Paso approved the 2012 International Energy and Conservation Codes for new residential and commercial construction and major renovations earlier this month, becoming the first major city in Texas to do so. While the State of Texas has yet to make 2012 IECC codes mandatory in Texas — though they did take comments from folks earlier this year —  local cities in Texas are authorized to go above minimum energy codes. El Paso becomes the latest city to go beyond code. Austin for example is currently above the 2009 Code and is on course to adopt the 2012 codes by early in 2013, while the City of Houston is looking at adopting the 2012 codes in early 2014.

However, in a bit of a twist, El Paso adopted the 2012 Codes on a voluntary basis.

Customers currently thus have the option of using either the 2012 codes or the previously approved 2009 codes. However, there are certain incentives in place to encourage customers to use the newly adopted 2012 codes. The first 100 cases to utilize 2012 codes will be entitled to a 50% reduced permit fee. The second 100 cases will qualify for a 20% permit reduction fee.

 The implementation of the 2012 codes involves:
  • Increased insulation
  • Tighter duct requirements
  • Tighter thermal envelopes
  • Insulated hot water piping
  • More energy efficient lighting

In fact a recent analysis by the Energy Systems Laboratory at Texas A & M found that homes built to the 2012 standards would be some 8 to 18 percent more energy efficient. At a time when Texas is faced with limited electricity supplies, a tight water budget and escalating temperatures, making our new homes and businesses more efficient through better building codes just makes sense. For some more resources about building codes, see this page.



4 responses to “El Paso becomes first large city in Texas to adopt 2012 Energy Codes… sort of..

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  3. No problem — spread the word.

    Austin is moving forward with 2012 adoption as mandatory. Just went to public meeting today…

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