The year 2016 was an eventful one for home building.
Study of homes in Gainesville, Fla., quantifies impact of codes on energy efficiency
Code improvements have led to a 4 percent decrease in electricity consumption, and a 6 percent drop in natural gas.
A study by economists Grant Jacobsen of the University of Oregon and Matthew Kotchen of Yale University compared monthly electricity and natural-gas bills of 2,200 Gainesville, Fla., homes built three years before and three years after Florida tightened its home-building code in 2002. They found that homes built after the change consumed, on average, 4 percent less electricity and 6 percent less natural gas. The improvements stemmed from several actions, including using less-leaky air ducts, more-heat-resistant windows, better insulated attics, and certain white roofing products.