Demand is High…and so is Energy Use!

It’s no surprise that the demand for energy rises in the hot summer months. But, today I learned of a Leake County resident with power bills of over $690.00 per month. That’s over $8,800.00 a year or almost 4 times the average for a 3,400 square foot home. As an energy rater I am flabbergasted! You don’t really have to be an energy expert to find those numbers numbing. All you need is to be on the paying end of the check book!

My friend and fellow energy rater Foch Dickens works with TVA investigating high power usage. His recent energy audit and inspection on the Leake county home revealed NO ATTIC INSULATION. None. The home owner had been living in the 11 year old home for 6 years, after having purchased the home from the owner/builder (we won’t name). The real tragedy in this story is the fact that the waste could have been prevented.

How could it have been prevented? Adopt a state wide minimum building code and have your home inspected when you purchase.

Quoting from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE), an ongoing project funded in part by DOE:

Mississippi’s existing state code is based on the 1977 Model Code for Energy Conservation (MCEC.) New codes based on ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-1989 and the 1995 MEC are being considered.

The existing law does not mandate enforcement by localities, and any revised code will probably require adoption by local jurisdictions. To adopt the code at the local level, the local government must adopt it through a vote of the city council or county commission. Compliance for state-owned buildings is verified by the Bureau of Building. Other buildings are subject to enforcement by local authorities.

On April 6, 2006, HB 1406 was signed by the governor. The bill provides that the counties of Jackson, Harrison, Hancock and Pearl River enforce, on an emergency basis, all the wind and flood mitigation requirements prescribed by the 2003 International Residential Code and the 2003 International Building Code. These counties, and any other county in the state of Mississippi, may then choose to adopt the full versions of these two codes which reference the 2003 IECC.

Pure and simple Mississippi does not mandate a code for residential construction. It is up to local jurisdictions to adopt and enforce building codes.

For your safety and the value of your home, speak up…or pull out the check book!

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