TexasIsHot – Energy Efficiency

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Oct 17 2016

Texas’ City Codes Are Favoring Clean Energy

by david in Blog with 0 Comments

AL ORTIZ

New houses built in Houston will make it easier to use an alternative energy source that is plentiful in Texas.

The Houston City Council recently approved a new construction code for single family homes, townhouses and condos that means the builder has to use roofs with a surface of at least 600 square feet that are oriented to the west or the south to make it easier to install solar panels.

Michael Howard, a senior analyst for the City’s Department of Public Works and Engineering, says Houston is following the lead of other Texas cities.

“Austin, San Antonio, all have similar code provisions in their adopted codes and they actually have more incentive programs, but the City of Houston is behind solar a 100 percent,” explains Howard who notes that, for instance, the City offers a program that will evaluate projects for use of solar energy in just seven days.

The new code also requires builders to install all the connections needed to use solar panels and that is something Cyrus Reed, Conservation Director of the Sierra Club’s Texas’ Chapter, appreciates.

Reed says solar energy projects can get complicated if, for example, a home’s ventilation system is in the way of the connections a solar energy system would need.

“Then you have to tear up those vents, move them, add solar and suddenly what might have been a pretty cost effective project becomes not cost effective,” explains Reed.

In the coming weeks, the City will also consider making changes to the construction code for commercial properties.

http://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/2016/10/10/172961/houstons-new-residential-construction-code-favors-solar-energy/

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  • "Fluctuating energy costs are really hurting Texas families and businesses, but by just making a few easy changes, Texans can cut down on energy waste. TexasIsHot.org is a tremendous resource which arms consumers with the information they need to save themselves money by becoming more energy efficient, and help our environment." State Sen. Rodney Ellis (D-Houston)
  • "Texas is the third fastest growing state in the nation with a net growth of 1,000 people each and every day. This brings many challenges including providing clean and affordable electricity. That is why I'm excited about TexasIsHot.org. This website is an instructional resource that will help Texans save on their energy bills at home and in the workplace..." State Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford)
  • "Now, more than ever, Texans need to work together to conserve energy and to make more efficient use of the energy we consume. The TexasIsHot.org website is an extraordinary resource for people who want to save money and help conserve our precious natural resources..." State Rep. Rafael Anchía (D-Dallas)
  • "By partnering with the TexasIsHot Coalition we can extend our effort’s reach, leverage our resources, and ensure that Austin’s energy grid continues to be a test-bed for technologies, products, and services that will transform our state’s energy system." Brewster McCracken, Executive Director, Pecan Street Project
  • "The City of Houston is working harder than ever to make Houston green and energy efficient, but we need the help of every citizen. I would encourage everyone to take a moment to explore the TexasIsHot website to learn what we can all do to make Houston, and the rest of Texas, the green and energy efficient example for the rest of the nation." Mayor Annise Parker, Houston
  • "Energy efficiency is one of our top priorities. Partnering with the TexasIsHot Coalition will help us educate citizens and local businesses about energy-efficient practices in order to meet our goal of reducing residential and commercial electric use." Gavin Dillingham, Chief of Sustainable Growth – General Services Department, for the City of Houston
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  • "I am excited that the City of Corpus Christi has joined the TexasIsHot Coalition and look forward to working with them to help Texans become smarter energy users. Energy efficiency is by far the best way for people to reduce their bills and help the environment, but we need education and outreach to make this happen." State Rep. Solomon Ortiz, Jr (D-Corpus Christi)
  • "Because of its fast growth and hot summers, Texas has to get smarter about energy conservation. I applaud the efforts of Corpus Christi and TexasIsHot to help businesses and residents reap the benefits of increased efficiency." Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D-McAllen)
  • "Energy efficiency is the cleanest, quickest and cheapest way to get smart about energy use, saving both money and the environment. I applaud the TexasIsHot Coalition in their effort to educate Texans about the benefits of energy efficiency..." Luke Metzger, Director, Environment Texas
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