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BUILDING CODES

& ENERGY EFFICIENCY:


WYOMING
Updated December 9, 2009

ECONOMIC BENEFITS
Consumers save money by reducing utility bills,
minimizing the negative impacts of fluctuations in
energy supply and cost, and conserving available
energy resources. Retail and office buildings con-
structed to meet the requirements of the IECC can
be over 30 percent more energy efficient than
typical buildings not constructed to meet national
model energy standards.

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Monetary savings derived from codes increase a
uildings account for roughly 40 percent of the consumer's purchasing power, and help expand the
total energy use in the United States and 70 state’s economy by keeping local dollars in Wyo-
percent of our electricity use, representing a ming.
significant opportunity for energy savings. Energy
efficiency—through the adoption and enforcement of BUILDING INDUSTRY BENEFITS
strong building energy codes—is the quickest, cheap-
est, and cleanest way to reduce energy consumption The national model code, the 2009 IECC, offers
and achieve a sustainable and prosperous future. For flexibility to Wyoming builders and design profes-
the state of Wyoming, the next step should be the sionals, allowing them to optimize the cost-
adoption of the U.S. model energy codes, the 2009 effectiveness of energy efficient features in their
International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) building products, and to satisfy a variety of con-
and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007. sumer preferences.
The 2009 IECC also simplifies guidelines for build-
In February 2009, the American Recovery and Rein-
ers, providing a uniform code across the state with
vestment Act (Recovery Act) – the federal stimulus
multiple options for compliance.
legislation appropriating funds for a variety of state
initiatives – allocated $3.1 billion for the U.S. Depart- Uniformity throughout Wyoming will enable local
ment of Energy’s State Energy Program (SEP) to as- jurisdictions to pool limited resources and combine
sist states with building energy efficiency efforts. As personnel to form county-wide, regional, and state-
one of the conditions to receive this funding, Wyo- wide enforcement and educational programs.
ming is required to implement energy standards of
equal or greater stringency than the latest national UTILITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS
model codes—the 2009 edition of the IECC and Stan- Energy codes improve the energy efficiency per-
dard 90.1-2007. formance of new buildings and reduce demand on
power generators, therefore improving the air qual-
Having already received $12.5 million1 in federal SEP
ity of local communities and throughout Wyoming.
funding, Wyoming is eligible to receive an additional
$12.5 million in grants upon demonstrating successful Electricity use is a leading generator of air pollution.
implementation of the energy plans it submitted to Rising power demand increases emissions of sul-
DOE. It is in the state’s best economic interest to fur dioxide, nitrous oxides and carbon dioxide. En-
adopt the national model codes statewide and begin ergy codes are a proven, cost-effective means for
enjoying the benefits of an efficient building sector. addressing these and other environmental impacts.
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Washington, DC 20036
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A MODEL STATE ENERGY CODE FOR WYOMING

A view of the Teton Range from Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming (Credit—Chris Ellis West)

W yoming is currently one of only seven River Basin is the largest coal-producing region in the
states with no mandatory statewide en- country, accounting for about 40 percent of all coal
ergy code2 for residential and commercial mined in the United States. More than 30 states re-
construction. The energy provisions contained in Ap- ceive coal from Wyoming, and several Midwestern
pendix Chapter 53 of the Wyoming Uniform Building and Southern states are highly or entirely dependent on
Code—which are two decades old—are recommended Wyoming’s coal supply. The Southern Wyoming Cor-
statewide minimums that local jurisdictions may, but ridor is also one of America’s most favorable locations
are not required to, adopt and enforce. for wind power development. Reducing local demand
for electricity and natural gas would free up even
WHY ADOPT A STATEWIDE ENERGY CODE? more of the state’s energy resources for export to
Citizens of states that require and enforce the 2009 other states, decrease costs for consumers, and in-
IECC statewide enjoy the benefits of lower utility crease profits for businesses.
bills, decreased energy demand, and lower air pollu-
tion than states with outdated, voluntary, or non- AN UNTAPPED RESOURCE
existent codes. Wyoming should take advantage of
the momentous opportunity for federal financial Energy prices are projected to rise sharply over the
assistance to implement a mandatory statewide en- next decade. By using energy codes to increase the
ergy code. significant potential energy supply produced by im-
proved building energy efficiency, Wyoming can en-
The 2009 IECC3 greatly improves upon codes of pre- hance its energy security by reducing in-state energy
vious decades and is supported by free compliance demand. Wise management of state energy policy
software and technical assistance from DOE. It will should include seizing the low-hanging fruit that is the
provide Wyoming households and businesses lower energy savings improved building energy codes offer.
utility costs, increased comfort, and better economic Among the opportunities:
opportunity. A limited DOE analysis4 of the changes
from the state's current building practice to the 2009 If Wyoming updated its energy code to the 2009
IECC resulted in estimated energy savings of 18-23 IECC and required adoption and enforcement by all
percent, or $369-$413 a year for an average new local jurisdictions, businesses and homeowners
house at recent fuel prices. Another DOE analysis5 of would save an estimated $16 million annually by
the changes from the state's current commercial build- 2020 and an estimated $31 million annually by
ing practice estimates energy savings of 10-11 percent 2030 in energy costs (assuming 2006 energy prices).
from Standard 90.1-2007.
Additionally, adopting and implementing the 2009
ENERGY RESOURCES IECC statewide would help avoid roughly 6 trillion
Wyoming is home to some of the richest fossil fuel Btu of primary annual energy use by 2030 and
reserves in the country.6 Besides being one of the top annual emissions of roughly 330,000 metric tons of
national producers of natural gas, the state’s Powder CO2 by 2030.
** NOTES ** For more information, please visit www.bcap-ocean.org
1
US DOE (http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/progress_alerts.cfm/pa_id=225) Residential_Wyoming.pdf)
2 5
BCAP (http://bcap-energy.org/node/100) US DOE (http://www.energycodes.gov/implement/state_codes/reports/commercial/
3
BCAP (http://bcap-energy.org/node/330) Commercial_Wyoming.pdf)
4 6
US DOE (http://www.energycodes.gov/implement/state_codes/reports/residential/ US EIA (http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/state/state_energy_profiles.cfm?sid=WY)

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Washington, DC 20036
www.bcap-ocean.org