The View From Here
by Ric Jackson
October 31st, 2016

A Little Recognition Could Go a Long Way

The Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) cites that every $1 spent on building code enforcement yields a $6 return. It also estimates that if a year’s worth of buildings were brought to compliance with energy codes, that would be a savings of $189 million. These numbers should be enough to get anyone’s attention, but why do so many buildings remain non-compliant?

Enforcing building codes has been an ongoing struggle with strategies varying at state and local levels. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has many resources, tools and training modules to help boost compliance. But it’s tough to say what motivators are most effective in getting buildings up to code and it could differ case by case.

Obviously money talks. The energy-savings payback is enough for some. But there’s one more strategy that has proven to help getting building owners and operators on board: Recognition.

I have heard many people at DOE talk about market transformation and programs designed to give accolades to organizations who are meeting codes, saving energy and ‘doing the right thing’ are proving to be an effective tool in boosting compliance. They are also low risk, low cost and could have the power to help the building and construction industry reach its full potential when it comes to energy savings.

One excellent example of this is the Standard Bearers Awards presented by the IMT and the International Codes Council (ICC), which recognizes state and local jurisdictions and individuals who have raised compliance with energy codes.

The View from Here is that it’s better for all of us if codes are understood and enforced to maintain a level playing field. And recognition is just another means toward the end goal of compliance across the board. Find out what energy initiatives and programs are available in your state by visiting your regional websites – or seeing how your state is faring in general using this interactive map.

What’s your View? Email me directly at Eric.Jackson@Quanex.com.

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