Location: Arizona, USA
Population: 504,258 (2020)
Climate: hot desert climate, with mild winters and very hot summers.
Funding sources: Public
City networks: N/A
Savings: With the building codes, average energy savings in a typical home are estimated at $217 per year, with $570 average incremental building cost, for a payback time of fewer than three years.
Solutions: The city adopted the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and promoted public awareness about the code and its benefits to the public, and capacity building for contractors and designers to implement the building.
Multiple benefits: More energy efficiency and sustainable buildings, improved indoor comfort and health benefit, reductions in energy bills.
Objective – To introduce and successfully enforce building codes in the city
Solutions – (1) the City used U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Technical Assistance grant monies to work with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to assess the potential impacts of the IECC on construction costs and energy savings for residential and commercial construction in Mesa. (2) The City’s development and sustainability staff facilitated a series of discussions with policymakers and stakeholders to familiarise them with the requirements of energy code and the related benefits; (3) Technical experts were available during some of these sessions to respond to code-specific questions. In total, the City engaged and solicited feedback from more than 75 stakeholders, including property owners, residents, tenants, designers, engineers, contractors, home builders, commercial developers, reviewers, inspectors, facility managers, property managers, utility service providers, and trade organisations such as the Home Builders Association of Central Arizona, the Multi-Housing Association, and the Building Owners and Managers Association. (4) Finally, city staff contacted other jurisdictions across the United States to identify stumbling blocks and other lessons learned about municipal energy code adoption.
In the spring of 2011, the staff presented their findings to the Council members and boards to build support for this effort and recommend moving it forward to the full Council. Shortly after that, in the summer of 2011, the City Council voted to support the adoption of the 2009 IECC.
Although city staff members were knowledgeable about energy codes, they requested assistance from the DOE Technical Assistance Centre (TAC) to learn about the best construction practices for compliance with the code in their climate zone. Through TAC, the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) assisted the City in developing a strategic outreach plan to implement the energy code. Challenges included limited knowledge of compliance techniques by builders and contractors, the higher cost of building to a state-of-the-art energy code, and changes to standard construction methods. The staff’s goal was to convince policymakers and stakeholders that compliance with the energy code is beneficial, achievable, and cost-effective.
SWEEP consulted with builders and representatives of related industries to assess their familiarity with the code and their areas of concern. The City of Mesa maintained close cooperation with the
Funding –The City received a Technical Assistance grant U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and used it to fund technical support from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to assess the potential impacts of the IECC on construction costs and energy savings for residential and commercial construction in Mesa. Otherwise, the city’s budget funded the policy adoption and outreach.
Innovation – (1) The City used federal government grants to fund technical support from the national leading expert team; (2) extensive stakeholder consultation to address barriers to the energy code implementation.
Success factors – (1) Proper strategic planning of the energy code adoption and outreach activities; (2) strong technical support from the national expert team; (3) detailed stakeholder consultation and engagement; (4) long-term commitment: the city has updated the energy codes several times. In 2022, the city is implementing the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).
- According to the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP), average energy savings in a typical home are estimated at $217 per year, with $570 average incremental building cost, for a payback time of fewer than three years. At current rates, a new home is projected to save more than $6510 in energy costs over the average 30-year life of appliances, HVAC and lighting.
Synergies with local policies:
- The City of Mesa is one of the fastest-growing city in the country. The City’s 2040 plan emphasises reducing auto travel and energy usage and making the city’s built environment of better quality than other communities [source].
- The City of Mesa has formed its first Climate Action Plan (Plan), a Mayor and Council priority initiative, to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, build resilience in our community and address the negative outcomes of a changing climate [source].
Building Energy Code is an important policy instrument for reducing the energy consumption of buildings and shapes a city’s long-term energy use in the building sector.Link to resource
Country / Region: United StatesTags: consultations, deserts, efficient construction of buildings, emissions, energy efficiency, lessons learned, projects, stakeholders, sustainability, trade
In 1 user collection: Good practices of cities
Knowledge Object: User generated Initiative
Published by: Southwest Energy Efficiency Project