A strong push was made by many advocacy groups, including the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), to increase the stringency of the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) to achieve a 30 percent energy savings relative to the 2006 IECC. This effort resulted in a number of major changes which impact both energy savings and construction costs for residential construction.
The objective of this analysis is to quantify the incremental construction cost, energy savings, and percent energy savings associated with constructing a house compliant with the 2012 IECC relative to the 2006 IECC baseline. A methodology established by Home Innovation Research Labs was used to determine the incremental energy savings, and a simple payback cost effectiveness analysis was conducted using cost and savings estimates. The Home Innovation methodology defines a Standard Reference House, including the building configuration and energy performance parameters. In addition, a calculation formula was included to determine a “percent energy savings” when comparing versions of the energy code. Energy performance parameters from the IECC were used where available. For parameters not defined in the IECC, DOE’s Building America Benchmark protocols were used.