New residential buildings in Illinois will use less energy and cost less to operate thanks to the residential energy efficient building code passed by the Illinois General Assembly on Sunday. House Bill 3987, sponsored by Rep. Julie Hamos and Sen. Don Harmon, will make energy efficient green building practices standard for every new home built in Illinois. The Energy Efficient Building Code will require all new buildings, including houses, to conform to the International Energy Conservation Code.
“HB 3987 brings home both savings and environmental benefits for Illinois residents,” said Howard Learner, Executive Director of the Environmental Law and Policy Center
(ELPC), a group that helped design and pass the bill. “The new energy efficiency standards will ensure that builders use best available technology, and this means new homes will use less energy and reduce homeowners’ monthly utility bills.”
Buildings use approximately 40% of our energy and much of that energy is wasted through inefficient heating, cooling and lighting. During the past five years, the Environmental Law & Policy Center has worked to have energy efficient building codes adopted for all new buildings constructed in Illinois. In 2004, the legislature adopted energy conservation codes for all commercial, industrial and high-rise apartment buildings.
A recent U.S. Department of Energy study estimated that Illinois’ Energy Efficient Building Code will result in at least 15% savings annually on utility bills and an average homeowner in Illinois saving more than $240 per year. Homebuilders can comply with the code through the use of more efficient windows, furnaces, boilers and insulation.
ELPC was recently honored by US Green Building Council for its work to design and pass an energy efficient building code for commercial buildings and is working on the Chicago Climate Action Plan that seeks to weatherize hundreds of thousands of older homes in Chicago to reduce their energy usage.