It seems almost every year the government has been passing new laws to increase our country’s energy efficiency. While the federal government has instilled a few standards, recently we’ve seen more states passing legislation to make both residential and commercial buildings more energy efficient. In fact, just last year the California Energy Commission unanimously approved new energy efficiency standards for new homes and commercial buildings. Going into effect on January 1, 2014, these standards concentrate on windows, lighting, insulation, ventilation systems and other features that reduce energy use in buildings and homes.
So, the question on everyone’s minds: Is Arizona next? The purpose of increasing energy efficiency standards is to help residents save money and to drastically decrease green house gas emissions. The blistering Arizona sun leaves residents with little choice but to use their air conditioning religiously when the heat of summer hits. With the high amount of air conditioning usage in Arizona, it is safe to say that Arizona will most likely have increased energy efficiency standards in the coming years. The California Energy Commission’s 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards are 30 percent more efficient than previous standards for non-residential construction and 25 percent more efficient for residential construction.
With the high possibility of increased efficiency standards in the near future, it would be wise for homeowners and builders to consider Energy Star approved options. This way, homeowners can avoid the likelihood of having to replace windows again in the future. While these investments may cost a little more upfront, you are guaranteed to earn the extra cash back on your energy bills.
Experts say as much as 25 percent of a home’s cool air can escape out from sub-par windows. Not only would Energy Star approved windows seal up these leaks, but they also can reduce up to 99 percent of heat gain and harmful UV rays. Energy Star windows can also earn you tax incentives and sometimes even additional perks from local energy companies.
Switching to more energy efficient products before the regulations are put into place will leave you ahead of the curve and saving early. Even if the regulations are not put into place for a few years, you will never regret the significant amount of money saved on your energy bills, especially with summer right around the corner. To keep from being left with a significant amount of work on your hands come regulation time, upgrade sooner rather than later.