New Louisiana Law Improves Energy Efficiency of New Buildings 

New law updates building codes to the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code

NEW ORLEANS – July 26, 2022 – Energy Efficiency for All Louisiana, a coalition of affordable housing, health, energy, environmental, and community leaders working to change policies and practices to ensure all Louisianians live in affordable and healthy homes, recently made major headway in ensuring that buildings will be built more energy efficient in Louisiana. Late last month Governor John Bel Edwards signed House Bill (HB) 803 into law requiring the statewide adoption of ACT No 635,  the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code and International Residential Code Chapter 11 Energy Efficiency. The new law will transfer the responsibility of commercial energy code enforcement from the state government to the local, municipal/parish government and third-party providers, while the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code Council (LSUCCC) will add the IECC as part of the statewide adopted codes. 

The Governor’s signature was the culmination of two years of work by Energy Efficiency for All Louisiana, a collaborative partnership between the Alliance for Affordable Energy, Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance, and Green Coast Enterprises. Working Under the stewardship of Representative Foy Gadsberry and the Louisiana Home Builders Association, coalition partners were able to get the bill passed unanimously in both chambers.  

“This is the first step in addressing climate change from a people-centric perspective,” said Andreanecia Morris, President/Chairwoman of the Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance. “We live in an area where storms have been intensified by climate change, and one thing we can do to fight climate change is reduce our carbon footprint by making our homes more energy efficient.”  

To facilitate the code’s adoption, HB 803 also establishes the “Energy Code Commission” which will be comprised of 16 members – including the members of the EEFA-La coalition.  The group will be responsible for reviewing and amending the 2021 editions of the IRC Chapter 11 and IECC for residential, commercial, and state-owned buildings. This temporary commission will review and consider amendments to the 2021 energy code provisions and will dissolve upon the completion of the LSUCCC’s Administrative Rule process, completing the adoption of the 2021 IECC. The code’s ultimate statewide effective date is July 1, 2023. 

Adopting and implementing modern building codes and standards plays a vital role in achieving a safe, affordable, and sustainable built environment. “This is something we’re really proud of because moving forward, energy efficiency won’t be an afterthought. It will be incorporated from the start into the way buildings are designed, which will make them more efficient over their lifespan,” said Jackie Dadakis, CEO of Green Coast Enterprises.

Energy codes help avoid wasted energy and save consumers money on their utility bills. “Families are struggling to pay their utility bills this summer, in many cases due to poor housing stock,” said Logan Burke, Executive Director for the Alliance for Affordable Energy. “New and restored buildings in Louisiana under the new codes will mean residents can manage their energy costs and not have to make hard decisions about what bills get paid.”  

This law came out of a recommendation from the governor’s climate task force. You can read more about it HERE

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About Energy Efficiency for All Louisiana: 

Energy Efficiency for All Louisiana is a coalition of affordable housing, health, energy, environmental, and community leaders working to change in policies and practices to ensure that all Louisianians live in homes that are affordable and healthy. We work to unite people from diverse sectors and backgrounds to collectively make multifamily affordable homes energy efficient. We do this work so people in under-invested communities – particularly black, Latinx, and other communities of color – who have been marginalized can equitably benefit from the health, economic, and environmental advantages of energy and water efficiency. EEFA-LA is a collaborative partnership between the Alliance for Affordable Energy, Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance, and Green Coast Enterprises. 

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