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Energy Efficiency Codes Reduce Bills, Increase Home Prices

New energy efficiency codes are saving homeowners money on their bill but raising the average price of a house by thousands of dollars.

Energy efficiency house

Photo: habitatkent

The slanted ceiling in this home allows for maximum energy efficiency.

New building codes pushing for greater energy efficiency are saving homeowners money on their heating and cooling bills, but raising the average price of a house by thousands of dollars.

Energy-efficiency requirements have been in effect in the northern part of Indiana for a few years because of its colder climate. A new code issued on April tightens requirements and affects the rest of the state.

Monroe County Building Commissioner Jim Gerstbauer says his department has been informing contractors about the change of code in the last few months.

“What I found is that most builders in this area were already complying with the rule to save energy, both because the customers were demanding more higher energy efficiency than the old code required and because the builders just want to do a good job,” he says.

Bartholomew County is in its first year of compliance. Columbus realtor Karen Dugan says she is happy that people can buy more energy efficiency houses.

“I think once the customers comprehend what they are getting, they understand it, it’s a very good product for them,” she says.

Dugan says the price increase depends on the size of the house. The average increase is $4,000 per house.

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