Thursday, February 2, 2012

Webinar on Improving Energy Code Compliance--Feb. 23 @ 2PM

On February 23, I will be speaking on the topic of Local Strategies for Improving Energy Code Compliance, in a FREE webinar at 2 PM Eastern.  This webinar is intended for elected officials, appointed officials, code officials, energy officials, sustainability directors, advocates and other stakeholders.

Over the past six years, national model energy codes have increased energy efficiency by an average of 30%. Unfortunately, these potential savings often go unrealized due to a lack of compliance. This webinar will offer strategies that cash-strapped local governments can use to ensure that buildings are meeting the energy code without busting their budgets.

More and more lately there are stories of local governments implementing energy efficiency programs for their own public buildings because it is a cost effective way to reduce operating expenses. Often these same local governments have inadequate programs to enforce the energy code for newly constructed privately owned buildings in their jurisdiction. Local government officials should realize that the same benefits they are realizing by reducing the energy costs in their own buildings can be realized by their businesses and citizens, if they enforce the energy code for new construction and renovations. It's also worth noting that lower energy costs cause other forms of consumer spending (discretionary spending) to increase, which could have economic benefits for local communities. 

Webinar attendees will leave with an understanding of the importance of enforcing the energy code as well as effective strategies for doing so. 

    Also speaking: John Umphress, Austin Energy Green Building Program, Austin, Texas; and Jim H. Brown, City of Gillette, Wyoming. This event is produced by IMT and presented by the National League of Cities' Sustainability Program, the National Association of CountiesICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, and the National Association of State Energy Officials.

The three strategies that will be addressed include:

Design Professional Accountability.  This strategy examines the requirement in Wisconsin that a design professional be involved in the construction inspection process for all commercial buildings over 50,000 cubic feet and sign a statement of compliance prior to the certificate of occupancy being issued. The statement of compliance includes energy code provisions as well as other building code requirements.

Streamlining Compliance Processes. Streamlining is the practice of improving building regulatory processes to remove overlap and duplication and create more efficient administrative procedures. When implemented properly this strategy not only makes building departments more efficient and effective at enforcing construction code requirements, but it also improves customer service and provides financial savings for the local government, its citizens and private industry. 

Third-Party Enforcement. Third-party enforcement can take on many variations which range from a comprehensive program for all code enforcement activities to specific third-party enforcement for individual activities such as performance testing, plan review or energy code inspections. Varying third-party enforcement strategies will be discussed.

View a recording of the webinar here.