Santa Fe County Follows City's Lead with Plans for Energy-Efficiency Codes

Santa Fe County, New Mexico recently passed the new building code as part of the county's revamped growth-management plan. The city of Santa Fe worked with builders, building inspectors and designers for months to craft a green building code. The new code, which took effect in January 2011, emphsizes the cost benefit of energy efficiency and protecting home affordability. The county also proposes making the code performance-based -- meaning builders can choose whatever elements they want to use to meet the HERS rating: Insulated windows and walls, solar orientation and energy-efficient appliances are just a few options.  
 
Though there still remains the challenge of the upfront additional cost that sometimes moves people out of the market, the county is determined to do their best to educate the community on long-term benefits of energy efficiency and to protect and maintain home affordability.
 
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