Hawaii Governor Approves Energy Code That Will Significantly Reduce Energy Use

Gov. David Ige has approved a Hawai‘i Administrative Rule that requires the use of the updated 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for the construction of state buildings. The updated code will reduce energy use by almost two-thirds and make a significant contribution toward achieving Hawai‘i’s clean-energy goals.

“It’s important that the state lead by example as we move toward a 100 percent clean energy future for Hawai‘i,” Ige said. “Improving the energy efficiency of our buildings will allow us to reduce Hawai‘i’s dependence on imported oil, while protecting our environment and strengthening our economy.”

The new energy code is the result of work done by the Hawai‘i Building Code Council to adopt the 2015 IECC with Hawai‘i-specific amendments. Buildings that were constructed to the 2015 code use about 30 percent less energy than those built under the 2006 code. Hawai‘i’s amendments reduce energy use by another three percent.

Gov. Ige’s signing of the new IECC will pave the way for the eventual adoption of the code by Hawai‘i’s counties, requiring that all new commercial and residential construction meet the code. The greatest energy savings in the residential sector will come from decreasing cooling loads, increasing comfort with natural ventilation, and eliminating electric water heating.

The payback period for homes built in Hawai‘i to the new code is estimated at 4.3 years, according to a study by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The first-year energy cost savings for homes built to the new code is $1,097 when compared to the 2006 IECC. Over 25 years, the savings would be $27,425.

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