Press Release

ACEEE Releases Tool for Including Building Codes in States’ Clean Power Plans

March 16, 2015

Tool Will be First in a Series of Resources that Show States How to Take Credit for Emissions Reductions from Energy Efficiency

Washington, D.C. —Today the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) released a step-by-step guide that helps states document and claim emissions reductions resulting from building energy codes as a means of complying with their obligations under the Clean Power Plan. The paper is the first in a series of guidance documents that demonstrate how a state can take advantage of energy efficiency in its compliance plan.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan establishes state-specific targets for carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. The proposed plan allows states to employ end-use energy efficiency to comply with the emissions targets, but provides little detail on how states would go about obtaining credit for these policies and programs.

By collecting 111(d) technical support documents, previous EPA guidance on crediting of air quality benefits from energy efficiency, and approved state implementation plans, ACEEE’s tool provides states with a step-by step and comprehensive approach to including building codes in their plans.

“Our tool turns the open-ended essay that states are currently facing into a more manageable “fill-in-the-blank” approach,” said ACEEE senior manager Sara Hayes.

“This tool offers interested states another cost-effective energy efficiency option to aid in complying with existing and pending EPA energy-related air regulations, while giving consumers and businesses more control over their energy bills,” said David Terry, executive director of NASEO.

Adoption of building energy codes could help states meet their compliance goals by leading to significant emissions reductions from the electric power sector. Buildings consume roughly 70% of our nation’s electricity. ACEEE has estimated that, taken together, increased code stringency and improved building code compliance could eliminate up to 169 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2030, which is comparable to taking over 35 million cars off the road.

The building codes template and other 111(d) tools for states are available for download at:

Click here to download the paper


The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy acts as a catalyst to advance energy efficiency policies, programs, technologies, investments, and behaviors.

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