Grist has an interesting piece on the potential impact of proposed changes to building codes across the US:
No matter what else is compromised or changed in the climate bill as it works its way through the Senate, Section 201 must not be changed or weakened. Why? Because all other energy- and emissions-reduction approaches pale in comparison to what Section 201 will accomplish. Without it, we simply cannot meet the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets called for in the bill. We won’t even come close.
Section 201 covers building energy code--that’s right, building energy codes--that will transform the entire built environment in the U.S. by 2050. That’s because Section 201 affects all new buildings and major renovations, and by 2050 more than three-quarters of the built environment in the U.S. will be either new or renovated.
The impact would be dramatic:
The codes also achieve more than six times the emissions reductions of 100 nuclear power plants. The codes accomplish all of this at a fraction of the cost.