- The Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), in conjunction with the International Code Council (ICC), has announced the 2016 winners of its Standard Bearers awards, which recognize achievement in energy-use reduction and efficiency.
- The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs' Energy Division won the state-level award for its work in adoption of and training on statewide residential energy codes. Chula Vista, CA, was also recognized for building department energy outreach initiatives that have resulted in increased compliance.
- IMT also presented a Standard Bearers award to Darren Meyers of Tinley Park, IL, for his energy-related compliance and education efforts in that state.
IMT said its research has revealed that every $1 spent on energy codes and enforcement results in a $6 return. If just a year's worth of buildings were brought into full compliance with energy codes, IMT found it would result in savings of $189 million. Five years' worth of buildings could yield lifetime savings of $37.1 billion.
Commercial and residential building owners are increasingly seeking ways to benefit from new energy efficiencies, wih some turning to "smart" tools to help them achieve their goals. According to a recent MarketsandMarkets report, the world's smart building market is expected to grow from $5.73 billion in 2016 to $24.73 billion by 2021, driven by the desire for energy-efficient buildings, as well as for CO2 reduction and the Internet of Things. While commercial adoption is outpacing that of residential, analyst firm Gartner predicted that balance will begin to shift in 2017.
In addition, commercial owners could be looking to the government's example on how to achieve energy efficiency. A September U.S. Energy Information Administration's Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey found that government buildings decreased their energy intensity — energy consumption per square foot — by 23% from 2003 and 2012, but private commercial buildings only reduced theirs by 12% during that same period. According to the EIA, this might be due to the fact that federal, state and local government buildings have been mandated to improve their energy performance. One such mandate, a presidential executive order, prescribes a 2.5% yearly reduction in energy intensity between 2015 and 2025. The EIA said monitoring energy use, modernizing equipment, automation of energy-consuming systems and identifying specific energy-reduction targets are ways any building can reduce its energy use.