North Carolina may repeal energy efficiency standards to reduce building costs

Bennett Farm
CC BY 2.0 How to build in North Carolina: Local wood, no insulation

Just when you thought you could stop laughing at North Carolina (they backed down on the ban on LEED building certification), they continue to amuse with a new proposal to roll back the State's energy efficiency rules. John Murawski in the Charlotte Observer writes:

Supporters said easing up on efficiency mandates will energize the economy by lowering construction costs and spurring commercial development. They said free markets are the best guide for determining a society’s energy-efficiency needs.

In perhaps the most wonderfully twisted phrase of the year, contractor Dave Simpson explains:

Anything that can minimize the upfront costs will prevent buildings from not being built.

The contractors claim that the requirement for more insulation means the structure has to be stronger, raising lumber costs by a third; that high performance windows are expensive. The changes would cut the standards for insulation, windows and lighting. Contractors would actually no longer be obligated to meet minimum efficiency standards at all. (But they can if they want!). Simpson continues:

There is such a thing as a tipping point where it doesn’t make good business sense to build a new building.

Sounds like if you care about your energy bills, it doesn't make good business sense to hire Dave Simpson. More in the Charlotte Observer.

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