Legislative Action is Increasing Requirements for Energy Efficient Construction

September 8, 2009
by MEREDITH DuBARRY HUSTON
Client Alert Newsletter September 2009

On June 25, 2009, New Jersey gave final approval to legislation that would promote energy efficiency and conservation in buildings by authorizing the Commissioner of Community Affairs to amend New Jersey's Uniform Construction Code's energy subcode to include enhanced energy-saving construction requirements.

In Pennsylvania, the High-Performance, State Funded Buildings Standards Act, H.B. 444, would require the design, construction, and renovation of buildings that receive state appropriations to comply with specified consensus-based energy and environmental building standards if it is passed by the Pennsylvania Senate and signed by Governor Rendell. In addition to meeting the performance requirements of the adopted high performance building standards, all building projects involving buildings owned or leased by a Commonwealth agency, including state- funded major facility projects, would be required to achieve an Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star rating of 85 or above.

Building energy efficiency requirements in Delaware have also been updated. By December 31, 2025, all new residential construction will be required to be capable of being energy self-sufficient. Commercial buildings must be capable of being energy self-sufficient by December 31, 2030. Zero-net energy capable buildings use construction methods, appliances, and sufficiently energy efficient lighting to allow the buildings to only consume as much energy as they could generate in the event that the building owner opts to add on-site generation (e.g., solar panels).