WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released a new methodology for evaluating homeowner savings through residential energy codes. These codes are commonly adopted by states and local code enforcement jurisdictions to make homes more efficient and cheaper to power. DOE’s new approach is based on a life-cycle analysis that balances initial costs with the long-term savings these codes make possible. By demonstrating savings available to homeowners, DOE said the methodology will aid in the adoption of cost-effective, energy-saving codes for residential buildings, and help families save money over the lifetime of their home.

The methodology provides policymakers with an estimate of the economic benefits of energy codes though a life-cycle cost assessment over a 30-year period, based on a set of parameters typical for an average mortgage. The assessment includes both single-family and multifamily buildings, as well as a variety of common building foundation and fuel types. Costs of efficiency measures are derived from the Energy Department’s Residential Cost Database and balanced against energy cost savings, mortgage payments, and other financing impacts over the life of the home.

For more information on the new residential code methodology, go to www.energycodes.gov/development/residential/methodology/.

Publication date: 7/16/2012