Several amendments went into effect for the Illinois Energy Conservation Code on January 1st.
They include increasing ceiling and basement insulation, requiring heating and air conditioning contractors to perform specific calculations to size equipment, and a home energy rater to be hired to conduct tests to provide results that the home is meeting standards.
The goal of the laws is to increase energy efficiency. Premier Builders contractor Mike Burgess says it will run the prices of new houses up a bit, but he believes the end result is worth it.
“Its beneficial to the homeowner. You’re going to save a lot of money,” says Burgess. “It will cost, yes, but I think it’s going to have to be absorbed by the contractor and the homeowner both. As long as everybody abides by the same rules and it’s enforced to where every builder is doing it the same way.”
Doyle Plumbing and Heating owner Tom Doyle says people who get energy-efficient heating systems can see the investment pay off within seven years.
“Some people look to the future more than others,” says Doyle. “A furnace is not a very sexy piece of equipment, but if you get a highly-efficient furnace, you’re making money at the other end, and pretty soon it’s not costing you anything.”
Doyle says most of the newer heating appliances have an energy efficiency of 90 percent or higher.