World has seen an exponential growth in energy consumption in the last few decades. in spite of this growth large part of our energy still comes from archaic coal and nuclear power plants. These power plants are expensive to run, wasteful and polluting. It is only wise to put some standards in place to ensure a judicious use the energy they produce. These standards reduce energy costs, improve building occupant comfort, and reduce impact to the environment making them necessary for our energy future.
Reducing energy consumption benefits everyone. Homeowners save money and have a more secure and healthy economy, the environment is less negatively impacted, and the electrical systems can operate in a more stable manner. Energy Standards (for both residential and nonresidential buildings) are expected to reduce the growth in electricity use and reduce the growth in natural gas use.
Comfort is an important benefit of energy-efficient homes. Energy-efficient houses are well insulated, are less drafty, and use high performance windows and/or shading to reduce solar gains and heat loss. HVAC systems are correctly designed and precisely sized to meet latent and sensible loads. Poorly designed building envelopes result in houses that are less comfortable. Even with over-sized heating and cooling systems, comfort cannot be achieved in older, poorly insulated and leaky homes.
For the homeowner, energy efficiency helps to ensure that a home is affordable both now and into the future. Banks and other financial institutions recognize the impact of energy efficiency through energy efficient mortgages; they look at the total cost of owning the home, including paying the utility bills. If the utility bills are lower, lenders can qualify borrowers for a larger loan.
Energy efficiency is growing to be one of the biggest industry today. According to US Department of Energy more than 3 million Americans are employed in this industry. It is also the fastest growing industry in United States.
In many parts of the world, energy use has led to oil spills, acid rain, smog, and other forms of environmental pollution that have ruined the natural beauty people seek to enjoy. Appliance standards, building standards, and utility programs that promote efficiency and conservation help maintain environmental quality. Other benefits include reduced destruction of natural habitats, which helps protect animals, plants, and natural systems.
(Excerpted from CEC Title-24 Part 6 Residential Compliance Manual)