The themes of the last few articles have been about the upcoming Washington State Energy Code changes. So far, we have discussed the wall assembly, air sealing, and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), while this week we will talk about the final changes in the code, water heating and renewable energy.

solar panels on a roof new home construction in Vancouver WAThe whole premise of a stricter energy code is to reduce overall energy consumption. As a builder we fully support these changes, we believe that building efficient is truly the only way to build these days. When most people think water heating it’s a big hot water tank sitting in the garage. Unbeknownst to most, there are other options out there, some being more efficient than others. Electric hot water heaters will soon be a thing of the past and tankless gas water heater will take its place. These tanks are very efficient at heating water, since, you only heat the water you use! There are also heat pump water heaters that are incredible efficient and cost effective. Each of the systems listed have their merits and it is up to the consumer to choose which is best. Another area that can score some easy points includes certain faucet flow restrictors, this would in turn lower the amount of waste water while showering, doing the dishes, and etc.

Lastly, renewable energy, you may see solar panels on houses today, however, not all houses receive enough sunlight. At the moment, the industry has not been able to make these at competitive price point, although, when that day comes you will see more and more being used. Depending on certain factors you can score minimum points here or lot! Generally speaking, using these are not common in our homes.

There are some positive changes to come and it will only make our industry better as well as our environment. To use less energy to power our homes is SMART building practices and as time progress we plan on continuing our tradition of not meeting code but exceeding it!

I hope this helps and thank you for reading Ask The Builder and making The Columbian of Vancouver, WA a part of your day.

Please submit questions to Jon can be reached direct at 360.907.5800.