The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy has issued a new whitepaper to help states to adopt and amend efficiency and renewable energy measures in building energy codes.
Despite solar and energy efficiency having advantages for homeowners and key to a clean energy future with lower emissions of a variety of pollutants including greenhouse gases, using onsite PV to achieve compliance with model energy codes could result in buildings with reduced envelope efficiency and no additional carbon reductions.
Both technologies result in energy resilience, peak demand reduction, comfort and health and cost effectiveness.
The report compares the non-energy and non-financial benefits of energy efficiency and solar installations.
Energy efficiency is cost effective compared solar over a long period of time.
For instance, the average home built in St Louis with energy efficiency lighting and insulation saved an estimated 3,518 kWh in 2006, saving homeowners about $33 each month.
The efficiency upgrades costs about $16 per month.
To achieve an equivalent level of energy bill savings by generating energy through rooftop solar panels, the cost would be about $41 a month—more than double the cost of efficiency. In monthly terms, energy efficiency saves the average homeowner in St. Louis $17 net of financing costs, while equivalent solar generation adds a net cost of $8.
To download the paper, click here...