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Study: Pennsylvania Headed In Wrong Direction On Building Codes

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A new study finds that Pennsylvanians could save $400 a year if the state invested in improving the energy efficiency of buildings. But, the state is going in the opposite direction.

The PennEnvironment study notes 40-percent of the energy we use is in buildings so improving their efficiency would not only save money but cut pollution. However, the group notes, Pennsylvania has rejected new building codes that would increase efficiency.

Attorney Shari Shapiro says, in fact, the state has made it harder to adopt higher efficiency standards, by changing the make-up and rules of the advisory council that sets building codes. She says the council has recently decided to leave building codes at 2009 standards, including fire safety and other codes, until 2018.

“You wouldn’t buy a car with 10-year-old safety technology nor should the state be advocating that we build to ten year old standards.”

PennEnvironment hopes the study will persuade the state to improve efficiency standards.

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