Energy Self-Reliant States Weekly: Relative Energy Efficiency of Residential Building Energy Codes

Jay Owen Green Prosperity, Community Development Solutions

Is your state lagging on its energy code for buildings?  This new graphic illustrates the relative energy efficiency of standard building energy codes and shows which states are lagging (and what that lag costs consumers on their energy bills).

And in honor of the American Labor Day holiday this past weekend, an article from our Public Good initiative: When Unions Are Strong, Americans Enjoy the Fruits of Their Labor

Relative Energy Efficiency of Residential Building Energy Codes

How efficient are buildings in your community? That depends a lot on the building code, which states (and sometimes cities) can use to set minimum standards for energy efficiency. The U.S. DOE has a nice chart of which state has adopted which code, but the following chart is useful in understanding what that means from the standpoint of relative energy efficiency and energy savings. A third of states could save new homeowners anywhere from $150 to $1100 per year in energy costs by upgrading or implementing the most recent International Energy Conservation Code. In many cases, cities have the authority to set more ambitious codes than the state, a great way to use local authority to save residents and businesses money!


Minneapolis City Council Unanimously Votes for a Better Energy Future

Today the Minneapolis City Council passed a resolution, supported by Minneapolis Energy Options, that lays out guidelines for the future franchise negotiations with Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy and keeps our  city’s energy options open. The City Council voted unanimously in favor of this resolution, written by Council Members Cam Gordon, Robert Lilligren, Elizabeth Glidden, Betsy Hodges, and Gary Schiff.

“We thank the City Council for voting yes today to keep our energy options open, said Dylan Kesti Campaign Coordinator for Minneapolis Energy Options.” Kesti said, “The City Council is responding to the desire of thousands of Minneapolis residents to expand our energy options to get what’s best for the city we love. The community has been heard and we are now on a path to secure a clean, affordable, reliable, and local energy future.”


Jim Farrell

How I Got Here

I spent the past two weeks saying goodbye to my father, Jim Farrell, so instead of my usual discussion of good policy and practices for distributed renewable energy, I’m taking time to explore how my dad’s work on sustainability fits  with how I approach it in this blog (and elsewhere) in my work for the Institute…



Minneapolis could excel beyond Xcel

A lot of folks came to a hearing at Minneapolis City Hall eight days ago to oppose a ballot measure authorizing the city to form a municipal utility. Mostly they argued that the status quo is sufficient.

I’d like to ask if they understand the question.


Is Solar Cheaper Than Grid Electricity? Yes. And No.

The word “parity” is to the solar advocate as the word “abracadabra” is to the magician.  Through it, all things are possible.  But there’s really two kinds of solar parity with electricity prices, and the difference is significant. Take this article from Renewable Energy World last month.  It claims that solar installations in New Mexico…


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