Energy Star v2.5 the Transition to v3.0

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Congress Extends Federal Tax Credit for Energy Efficient Homes and Other Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credits

On December 17, 2010 Congress  extended the $2,000 federal tax credit for builders who build energy efficient homes. The extension is from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2011.  The extension was part of a sweeping tax package negotiated by the White House and Republican Congressional leaders.  

The legislation also includes a provision that extends the tax credit for consumers who purchase qualified energy saving products, but lowers the credit to its pre-economic recovery act levels.  The new bill extends the credit to the end of 2011, but reduces the incentive to the original 10% up to $500. Included are provisions limiting window incentives to $200, oil and gas furnace and boiler incentives to $150-200, and water heater and wood heating system incentives to $300. As part of the legislation, Congress tightened the specifications for oil furnaces and boilers and gas boilers to 95% efficiency, up from the 90% efficiency in current credit.

The tax credit for highly energy efficient appliances was extended for one year, and the efficiency criteria and incentives have been updated to provide incentives only for products that are significantly more efficient than today's average new product. The credit goes to manufacturers.

President Obama is expected to sign the legislation into law this week (12/20/10).

A priority of Go Green, NM in 2011 is to work hard for builders and homeowners in New Mexico to achieve high performance new home construction and home energy upgrades for existing homeowners, and ultimately enabling them to take advantage of the federal tax incentive.  This would include HERS Ratings, consulations, new construction energyand comprehensive energy audits and upgrades for existing homeowners.

More information on the Energy Efficient Tax Credit from the IRS here!....


Albuquerque – Today the Construction Industries Commission (CIC) approved the adoption of some of the country’s most energy efficient and cost effective building codes. At least 12 other states have taken similar action.

Adoption of the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code is a requirement for over $30 million of federal recovery money already received by the state.

In addition, the CIC voted to delete the mandatory residential automatic fire suppression requirement, but voted to have the Construction Industries Division establish a task force to study the cost effectiveness and feasibility of the residential fire sprinkler rule.

“I congratulate the CIC for today’s bold action. This is an enormous step forward for New Mexico’s environment and our green economic initiatives,” said Regulation and Licensing Superintendent Kelly O’Donnell.

Citing feedback received during June’s public hearing process, CID presented recommendations for updates to the New Mexico building codes. The CIC postponed today’s meeting by 2 weeks in order to take into consideration the volume of public comment received during the public hearing process.

The approved codes:

  • Include improved indoor air quality and increased energy and water efficiency.
  • New Mexico buildings would see a 20 percent energy efficiency increase over buildings built to the 2006 codes.
  • Homeowners could save an average of $25 a month in energy bills. Energy savings in commercial buildings could range from $1,000 to $6,000 a year, depending on building type and size.

The new codes go into effect Jan. 1, 2011 and after a six-month grace period during which plans can be submitted under either the new or old codes, will be mandatory July 1, 2011.

New Mexico is the 12th state in the union to adopt the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code, developed by the International Code Council (ICC).


New Mexico's CID and their Proposal to the NM Energy Conservation Code

The State of New Mexico's  Construction Industries Divisions has held public hearings for the discussion and adoption of the latest codes impacting all permitted building construction in the state.

The New Mexico Energy Conservation Code, is one of the affected codes.  The proposed changes upgrade the current code which was based on the International  Energy Conservation Code (IECC)of 2006.  Note the IECC-2006 code was based on requirement published in a standard from the American Society of Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Engineers- ASHRAE 90.1-2004 Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings   

The New Mexico Energy Code as proposed is to go into effect on January 1, 2011, and is based on the IECC-2009 code (it is based on the ASHRAE 90.1-2007  Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential).  ASHRAE 90.1-2007, IEEC 2009 and New Mexico Energy Conservation Code will  impact the thermal performance of building envelopes, efficiency of HVAC equipment, plus design and controls strategies for such equipment, and established maximum lighting power density and controls for illumination of commercial buildings.

Post questions or comments at our Blog.

nm energy code blog

Santa Fe County Green Code Update

Will the county of Santa Fe require certified HERS Inspections or adopt The City Different's green code? This is the question many builder's minds! Go Green, NM is dedicated to keeping Santa Fe's builders informed.

Albuquerque City Council Approves New Local Energy Code

August 11, 2009 - 1:39pm — Paul Karrer

The Albuquerque City Council approved Ordinance 09-85 on August 3, establishing a new local energy code that will go into effect December 1, 2009 should the city's mayor sign the legislation. The 2009 Albuquerque Energy Conservation Code is based on the 2006 IECC but also contains several amendments that are more stringent than corresponding sections of the 2009 IECC, including testing for air filtration and duct leakage.

When the code is published, it will be posted on the city's website.

The residential code advances the 2006 IECC by allowing:

  • New Mexico Build Green (NGBS) Silver or LEED-Silver homes to be deemed to qualify called the "Green Path".

  • Adds air infiltration testing (blower door) 6.0 ACH50 (exceeds 2009 IECC).

  • Duct leakage requirement of 4.0 CFM @ 25 / 100 SQFT of conditioned floor space.

  • If ducts are in conditioned space and not tested air infiltration rate for house drops to 3.0 ACH50.

  • Adds requirement to use the ENERGY STAR Thermal Bypass Checklist.

  • Adds U-Value/SHGC requirement of .35/.40.

  • Increases wall insulation to R-21 or R-13+R-7.5 and ceiling insulation to R-38.

  • Increase floor insulation to R-21.

  • Adds approved ENERGY STAR reflective roof requirements.

  • Adds ENERGY STAR ventilation fan requirements.

  • Adds ENERGY STAR labeled light fixtures requirements.

  • Homes using performance path must be 30% more efficient than baseline 2006 IECC model home.

2009 Courtesy of Building Codes Assistance Project.

Additional reference information on the above are for background use only.


City of Santa Fe Adopts Green Build Code

The Residential Green Building Codes became effective on JULY 1ST 2009 for all new building applications submitted on or after that date.  Check it out!


Los Alamos boasts First Energy Star Certified Home

By CAROL A. CLARK Monitor Managing Editor

The green-built home at 520 Camino Cereza in North Mesa is a whopping 40 percent more energy efficient than a conventional home of equal-size built today and it costs just 5 percent more.

The $375,000 home, built by local developer Stan Primak of Primak Builders Inc., was completed last month and is the first certified “Energy Star” rated home in Los Alamos County.

“To earn the ‘Energy Star’ certification, a home must meet strict guidelines for energy efficiency set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy,” Primak said during an interview at the home Friday.

Certified homes are a minimum of 15 percent more energy efficient than homes built to the 2006 International Residential Code, he said, and include energy-saving features that typically make them 20-30 percent more efficient.

Third-party evaluator, Isaac Brazil of Go Green NM, LLC, said while the average Energy Star home ranks 85 on the Home Energy Rating System (HERS), the Primak-built home ranks an impressive 58. The HERS index is a 0-100 rating scale relative to the model home defined by the current international energy conservation code with ‘0’ being the best,” he said. “Each one point decrease in scale equals 1 percent increased efficiency, so a 58 ranking is significant.”

There is a particular value to having an independent party evaluate the project from conception to completion, Primak said, because at the end of the project, a document is generated, which verifies all of the results. There is no guesswork, he said.

“Isaac began the evaluation process at the planning stage,” Primak said. “Through his expertise, he lead us to see that there are also state and federal incentives for Green Building. If criteria are met and verified by Energy Star evaluation, tax credits and rebates can essentially more than pay for the services of Go Green NM.”

Brazil and his brother Matthew Brazil co-own the company and both graduated from New Mexico State
University with degrees in mechanical engineering. He handles their northern New Mexico operations and his brother handles central New Mexico.

“The Camino Cereza home is an efficient 2,100-square-foot design, oriented for winter solar gain, low E glass, has no windows on north side of house and only one sliding glass door,” Brazil said. “Primak Builders utilized Value Engineered Framing, stacking wood on top of each another, using 20 percent less material than a typical home of equal size. They used superior insulation including polyurethane foam with an effective rate of R54 in the ceiling and R24 in the walls, an insulated concrete slab and foundation with a radon gas barrier. They also used a 92 percent efficient boiler with a built-in, tankless on-demand hot water heater as well as efficient, in-floor heat.”  The home has an unventilated attic to keep the structure cool in summer and a computer controlled air/heat exchanger to modulate indoor air quality, he said.

“Green Building is a term used loosely in today’s energy-plagued world,” Primak said. “We as a company began asking ourselves what the term actually meant sometime back. The resulting outcome has been the growth and development of incorporating Green Building practices into our homebuilding business. We believe the concepts are important and that it is a responsibility we hold as professionals to educate not only ourselves, but our citizenry in tackling the energy issues we all face.”

Energy Star certified homes include a variety of proven energy-efficient features that contribute to improved home quality and homeowner comfort, and to lower energy demand and reduced air pollution:

• Effective insulation;
• high-performance windows;
• tight construction and ducts;
• efficient heating and cooling equipment;
• energy efficient products; and
• third-party verification.

Brazil conducted infiltration evaluation tests during and after construction. The tests create negative air pressure that sucks air from the house. He then uses a smoke detector to verify the home's air tightness. Primak equipped the home with Energy Star rated windows, appliances and light fixtures along with water-saving plumbing fixtures including one and 1.6 gallon dual flush toilets.

Go Green, NM,, provides solutions to new challenges in energy efficient and
green building including:

• Certified Energy Ratings that comply with the RESNET Home Energy Rating System (HERS)

• Accredited third party verification for energy star, build green nm and leed-h,
• eligibility for federal and state tax credits,
• applied building science diagnostics,
• energy efficient mortgage inspections,
• identification of cost-effective improvements,
• builder/buyer quality assurance,
• energy audits,
• cost benefit analysis,
• marketing,
• blower door and duct testing and
• green verification.

“Stan is very knowledgeable about these advanced techniques and very open-minded to new ideas,” Brazil said. “It was easy and a real pleasure to work with him.” Primak began building homes in 1982. He retired from teaching building trades at Los Alamos High School in 1999 and has been building custom homes ever since.

“As professionals, committed to moving forward in the energy concerns we face as a community, nation and world, we want to offer our services to anyone interested in planning a Green Built home or greening an existing home,” Primak said.

For information, e-mail or call 662-7708.