Albuquerque Eases Energy Efficiency Requirements

Originally published by: KOB.comJanuary 20, 2012

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Albuquerque City Councilors are easing up on energy efficiency requirements for developers. They said will make Albuquerque more builder friendly, but environmentalists said the consumer will end up paying.

Albuquerque's old code cost more for builders, but some estimates say it made buildings as much as 19 percent more energy efficient.

"We think it's kind of a catastrophe both for the economy and the environment. On the economic front, this is going to cost consumers money," said Shrayas Jatkar with the Sierra Club.

Jatkar said Albuquerque's old energy code saved people money on utilities. It had more stringent requirements for insulation and windows. He said the new code adopted last night is a step back.

"Energy costs are rising, this code really prepared us for a future where energy efficiency is paramount," Jatkar said.

But Drew Dolan with NAIOP, a commercial real estate development association, disagreed.

He said the new code, the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code, is good for Albuquerque. He said it is consistent now with the rest of New Mexico, which makes it more appealing to builders.

"It's like a sigh of relief now. We know what the code is, we know there's predictability, we know it's an efficient code," Dolan said.

Dolan said the old code actually kept businesses away from Albuquerque.

"I don't know any businesses that had to be in New Mexico because we had an ultra-green Albuquerque energy conservation code, but I do know businesses who were looking outside of Albuquerque because of this code," he explained.

Dolan said Albuquerque is not falling behind by adopting less stringent codes. He said it puts the city ahead of the rest of the southwest.

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