Gov. Mike Easley announced North Carolina has won a federal Department of Energy grant to develop and implement an innovative energy-efficient state code for building construction and renovation that will save consumers up to $40 million annually on utility bills. The grant will be used to both develop a new set of requirements for building construction to make homes and offices more energy efficient and provide training and technical assistance to improve the compliance with building codes.
The three-year, $499,190 grant will help North Carolina implement a 21st century building code with common-sense requirements that will result in a 30-percent drop in annual energy consumption by setting out rules for use of more energy efficient materials, appliances and electrical equipment. The grant will also enable North Carolina to improve the training of code inspectors; increase compliance with the code among building designers, engineers and contractors; and establish an appropriate level of enforcement.
By adopting and enforcing an updated building code, North Carolina is projected to save more than $40 million annually in residential and commercial energy bills and to cut air-polluting emissions from power-generating plants by 236,000 tons of carbon dioxide, 481 tons of sulfur dioxide and 253 tons of nitrogen oxide.