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building energy codes program - U.S. Department of Energy
SEP SPECIAL PROJECTS IN NEBRASKA
BUILDING ENERGY CODES PROGRAM
 
The U.S. Department of Energy offers the Building Energy Codes Program as an information resource to increase energy efficiency through energy code standards in new construction of residential and commercial buildings.

The Nebraska Energy Office was awarded the following State Energy Program — Special Projects grants under the Building Energy Codes and Standards category:
  • New Nebraska Energy Code training — Active
  • Codes — Study
  • Home Energy Rating System
  • Codes — Financial Incentives
  • Codes — Non-traditional Approach

Building Energy Code Adoption, Training and Compliance (2010) $276,451
In September 2010, the Energy Office received $276,451 from the U.S. Department of Energy Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The Nebraska proposal partnered the agency with the Building Science Corporation and the International Codes Council. Other supportive partners were the American Institute of Architects - Nebraska Chapter, Omaha Public Power District, Nebraska Public Power District and Lincoln Electric System. For this project the Energy Office divided the work into six tasks: (1) Code Compliance in Nebraska, (2) Builder and Consumer Knowledge, (3) Economic Value of Code Compliance, (4) Code Adoption Advocacy, (5) Provide Training about the New Code and (6) Develop Compliance Strategies. The Energy Office conducted fifteen free code training workshops for building designers and contractors. Over 500 copies of the 2009 IECC Codes Manual were given away to building designers, contractors and codes officials. The agency assessed energy code compliance by evaluating about 100 newly constructed homes for energy efficiency. The Energy Office tracked and lobbied for LB 329, which updated the Nebraska Energy Code from the 2003 IECC to the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2007. The legislation was passed by the state's Unicameral Legislature on April 8, 2011 and signed by the Governor on April 14, 2011.

This project was completed in June 2011.

 

30% Better – Nebraska's Advanced Commercial Building Energy Code (2008) $303,065
In 2008, the Energy Office was awarded a $303,065 State Energy Program Special Projects grant to work to establish a commercial building code that is 30 percent beyond the building and lighting requirements set forth in ASHRAE 90.1-2004 and 2006 International Energy Conservation Code and a code that meets the mechanical system requirements of the Energy Star® program or the consortium for energy Efficiency's High-Efficiency Commercial Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Initiatives. Nebraska will not develop its own commercial building energy code, but will expand on existing standards and energy efficiency programs with the intent on becoming an early adopter and implementer of the advanced building proposals and design guides currently being considered by the ASHRAE and International Code Council.

The project has three primary tasks: 1) evaluate the components that would comprise a commercial code 30 percent above current standards, 2) work to adopt such a commercial building energy code that would accomplish that goal, and 3) schedule and host a regional conference that demonstrate how other states and localities can achieve similar success with upgraded codes and enhanced enforcement techniques.

In November 2009, the Energy Office released Nebraska-specific Advanced Commercial Building Energy Code Study that met the objectives of the first task.

In October 2012, the Energy Office hosted the Great Plains Energy Codes Conference in Omaha. Presentations from the conference are available are available on the agency's website.

The work on this grant continued throughout the reporting period and concluded in 2013. 30% Better — Nebraska’s Upgraded Commercial Building Energy Code Final Report

 

Advanced Training Equips Building Officials to Enforce the New Nebraska Energy Code (2008) $24,725
The Special Project Codes and Standards grant of $24,725 was received from the U.S. Department of Energy and enabled the Energy Office to enhance and expand the knowledge base and capabilities of local code officials, inspectors and designers through advanced energy code training. The grant enabled the Energy Office to provide two training workshops to 76 persons involved in Nebraska's construction industry, and to pay for certification examinations for 75 local code officials and other members of Nebraska's construction industry. The training took place in March of 2007, while the three certification examinations were offered in April and May of 2007. A total of 44 Nebraskans were certified as Residential Energy Inspector/Plans Examiners, Commercial Energy Plans Examiners or Commercial Energy Inspectors.

This project was completed September 2007.

 
 

From 1983 Model Energy Code to 2003 International Energy Conservation Code (2005) $32,323
The Special Projects Codes and Standards grant of $32,223 was received from the U.S. Department of Energy and enabled the Nebraska Energy Office to provide 16 training workshops to local code officials, architects, engineers, homebuilders, heating and air conditioning installers and utility personnel before the July 1, 2005 effective date of the 2003 International Energy Conservation Code as the new Nebraska Energy Code. A total of 571 participants were trained at these workshops.

This activity was completed completion in 2006.

 

Develop Materials for the Adoption of New Energy Codes (2004)
A $100,000 Building Technology/Codes and Standards special project grant was received September 2002 from the U.S. Department of Energy. The Energy Office and its partner, the University of Nebraska completed a survey of local codes and building practices and the types and sizes of homes being built and analyzed energy savings, construction costs and economic benefits resulting from updated building codes.

The study's findings were clear: An upgrade to the 2000 International Energy Conservation Code from the 1983 Model Energy Code would generate dollar savings from reduced energy use in excess of any mortgage payment increases due to higher construction costs. The difference would mean a Nebraska homeowner could save between $50 and $295 a year, depending on where the homeowner lived. The compete report is at http://www.neo.ne.gov/reports/unl_mec_study.htm .

This project was completed in August 2003.

 

Develop Persuasive Nebraska Specific Materials to Further the Adoption of the Next Generation of Energy Codes (2003) $100,000
This $100,000 Building Technologies/Codes and Standards special project grant was received from the U.S. Department of Energy in September 2002. The Energy Office and its partner, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln architectural engineering department, will complete a survey of local codes and building practices and the types and sizes of homes being built, analyze energy savings, construction costs, and economic benefits associated with updating the current energy code and produce a report on the study's findings.

At the end of the reporting period, $34,564 had been spent. This project is scheduled to be completed before August 2004.

 
Develop Persuasive Nebraska Specific Materials to Further the Adoption of the Next Generation of Building Codes (2002) $100,000
The Develop Persuasive Nebraska Specific Materials to Further the Adoption of the Next Generation of Building Codes project enabled the Energy Office and its partner, the University of Nebraska architectural engineering department, to complete a survey of local codes and building practices and types and sizes of homes being built. The work included analysis of energy savings, construction costs and economic benefits associated with updating the current energy code.

The report of the study’s findings appeared in the April 2004 Nebraska Energy Quarterly. Legislation was passed by the state's Unicameral to update the state's building codes.

 
Home Energy Rating System for Nebraska (HERS) (1998) $50,000
The Home Energy Ratings System for Nebraska project assisted the Nebraska Energy Office in implementing energy efficiency improvements in new and existing homes and promoting compliance with the 1995 Model Energy Code (MEC). By implementing a HERS the Energy Office intent was to increase awareness of energy efficiency opportunities in homes and the availability of various financing options to homeowners. A total of 33 individuals completed the training and requirements to be designated as Certified Home Energy Raters. A total of 155 home energy ratings were completed.
 
Codes — Financing Incentives for Increased Energy Efficiency in Nebraska (1998) $400,000
The Financing Incentives for Increased Energy Efficiency in Nebraska project utilized financing incentives to increase the awareness of building standards exceeding the 1995 Model Energy Code, and to incorporate those standards in the construction of new affordable housing units. The Energy Office purchased a twenty percent share, at zero interest, on a total of 13 energy efficient mortgages financed by lenders participating in the Dollar and Energy Saving Loan Program, which were constructed thirty percent above the 1995 Model Energy Code. The $400,000 in grant funds, plus $24,940 in repayments, leveraged more than $1.6 million from private lenders. The total of all loans was over $2 million.
 

Non-Traditional Approach to Model Energy Code Compliance (1997) $255,510
The Non-traditional Approach to Model Energy Code Compliance project demonstrated the use of financing incentives to implement higher energy standards and allow Nebraska to make further progress in voluntary compliance with the 1995 Model Energy Code.

The Energy Office used $200,000 of grant funds to finance energy efficient mortgages under the Dollar and Energy Saving Loan Program. The intent was to use $200,000 to leverage an additional $800,000 from private lenders to fund $1 million in energy efficient mortgages built to standards at or above the 1995 Model Energy Code. Using this financing mechanism, the Nebraska Energy Office offered below market interest rates on construction and permanent financing for single family homes that met or exceeded the code. The investment of $246,830 for energy efficient mortgages resulted in leveraging over $1.23 million from private lenders for more than $1.48 million in new homes built to exceed the 1995 Model Energy Code.

During this project, Energy Office staff also reviewed building plans for 1,344 living units to determine if the plans complied with the model code.

 

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