SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to reduce demand for energy in large commercial buildings and to protect the environment, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today signed House Bill 4099, creating the Energy Efficient Commercial Building Act. The new law requires the state to draft and enforce the first statewide energy efficiency code.
HB 4099, sponsored by Rep. Julie Hamos (D-Evanston) and Sen. Denny Jacobs (D-Moline), requires the Capital Development Board (CDB) and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to write and enforce a statewide energy efficiency code for all new commercial buildings and all commercial buildings undergoing renovations, alterations, repairs or construction of an addition. CDB will adopt the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) as the new statewide code for Illinois. The IECC establishes minimum design and installation standards for a building’s lighting, windows, walls, roofs, insulation, heating/cooling/ventilation and other building systems. DCEO will provide energy code education programs for local government code officials and for building designers, engineers, and contractors.
“We expect this new, statewide energy efficiency code to not only reduce energy costs but also to reduce air pollution, leading to a healthier state for all of us,” said Gov. Blagojevich.
“With an eye to the future, this law will make sure we take full advantage of energy efficiency efforts, both protecting the environment and saving on energy costs in the long-term,” said Rep. Julie Hamos, chief sponsor of the legislation. “I am delighted that the Governor has signed this into law.”
In addition to these benefits, adopting new efficiency standards will help protect the state from the debilitating blackouts that left 50 million Americans in the dark last summer. “Reducing our demand for energy through improved efficiency will also improve electricity reliability by taking pressure off the power grid.” Stricter building codes were recommended last month by the Governor’s Special Task Force on the Condition and Future of the Illinois Energy Infrastructure chaired by Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn.
“The Energy Efficient Commercial Building Act will increase energy efficiency and cost savings for building construction and renovation,” CDB Director Anthony D. Rossi said. “The Act will benefit private commercial building owners and the state.”
DCEO will implement and administer the program using existing agency resources – without the need for additional funding. The law takes effect immediately and CDB and DCEO have one year to implement it. Any commercial building or structure in the State that requires a building permit must follow the Energy Efficient Commercial Building Act.
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency estimates annual energy savings resulting from adopting the statewide code would range from 6% to 16%, depending on the size and type of building. Additionally, the Illinois Environmental Law and Policy Center found that adopting the code would result in emissions reductions of 317 tons per year of sulfur dioxide, 141 tons per year of nitrogen oxides, as well as reductions of carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds.