Print Page   |   Sign In   |   Join HBACA
Site Search
News & Press: National News

EPA Issues New Carbon Dioxide Rules - Do They Affect the Home Building Industry?

Friday, June 20, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Staff
Share |
On June 2, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed new rules that require states to develop plans to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) from existing fossil fuel (coal) fired power plants. The new rules establish nationwide goals for reducing fossil fuel emission by 30% below 2005 emission levels. 

What does this mean for Arizona? Based on the formula proposed in these rules, Arizona will have the second highest emission reduction goal of all the states in the country with a 52% reduction by 2030. In addition, this goal cannot be achieved through reductions of emissions at the coal fired plant Navajo Generating Station, since these proposed rules do not apply to power plants located on Indian Reservations.   

How does Arizona meet this reduction goal? Well EPA sets up the "building blocks" as to how to meet the proposed reductions. These are: increase efficiency of existing coal fired power plants, expand the use of natural gas power plants, increase use of low emission energy sources such as solar or wind, and finally increase energy efficiency and reducing energy demand.  

With Arizona's rising energy demand, along with a rising population, this goal will be difficult to meet without higher costs for energy and significant regulatory costs on industries and the citizens of Arizona.  Many of the utilities electrical infrastructure and power generation plants do not "fit" EPA's proposed model meaning that utilities will be forced to increase electrical rates to secure funding to build and develop different energy sources that comply with the new proposed rules. In addition, they will be forced to retire cheaper methods of producing electricity for more expensive or unreliable methods resulting in "over building" the energy production needs to compensate for an unreliable energy source.   

The one "building block" that should concern the industry is the goal of increasing energy efficiency and reducing energy demand. Will this strategy force new construction practices on home builders? Maybe, since the industry is already facing costly and higher energy efficiency standards through the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) each time a new code is issued (the next IECC will be issued in 2015) .   

Frankly, it is too early to tell whether our industry will be impacted by these rules since Arizona's plan will be developed over the next two years, although our new home customers are likely to be impacted through higher electrical rates. Be assured that the HBACA will be active in the stakeholder process as strategies are developed to comply with these rules and we will update you as Arizona's plan is developed. As an industry, we need to be vigilant in assessing all new regulatory proposals to avoid negative impacts to our goal of housing affordability....even when it comes to federal regulations for CO2.  

Featured Members
Brown Homes, LLCFebruary Featured Builder

Latest Tweets

7310 N. 16th St., Suite 305
Phoenix AZ 85020
P: (602) 274-6545
F: (602) 325-0353
Membership Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal