March 9 Updates

by Aide Fitch

Some quick updates:

  • The net zero portion of the IECC 2021 energy code has not been thoroughly, properly priced yet. But I’m going to have something together very soon, and based on conversations I’ve had with people more expert than me, and preliminary analysis I’ve done, it’ll still be within reach of being free to those who have 10% “law and order” or “code compliance” extensions on their insurance, not to mention all the other giveaways I’ve discussed. I am double checking the report presented to the City of Louisville by Group 14 Engineers, going back through some of the numbers with the engineers and builders, and will report here what I find. But I’ll also put together my own model and real numbers from local materials suppliers.
  • Anyone in Louisville who has their insurance “law and order” or “code compliance” extension is in danger of not being able to get all those funds if the City does indeed provide an opt-out from the new energy code. As discussed, the code (including net zero) is going to cost somewhere between $20,000 and $40,000 depending on how you calculated other incentives, which is within that extension coverage for many folks. But you won’t get that cash or that value if the code isn’t required.
  • Some say: “But my coverage is lower than that” or “I don’t have law and order coverage, wouldn’t the code hurt me?” My answer is no, I don’t think so. There is a lot of charitable money cropping up interested in buying down our carbon. Why? Because the earth is burning and lots of people care. So, if you’re not totally covered for this good energy code, it’s very likely you’ll still get it paid for you, and it’s even more likely you’ll get that money if you allow your neighbors who have coverage to get their paid for by their insurance. That will allow the pie of charitable money to go further and help those with less coverage. I realize this is a chicken egg problem: this is all happening too fast for anyone to feel secure with such promises. I am hoping the City of Louisville is solving that somehow.  I’m trying to help by firming up those cost numbers. Also if you ARE one of those people who has very low or no coverage for the code, please reach out to me by DM or email.  I can connect you with one of a variety of funding sources.
  • Some say: “But I heard that I’d be using up that extension already on all the previous code updates going back in time to 1990.” Not true. I’ve spoken with multiple insurance experts, estimators, and energy experts. I’ve done the analysis myself looking back at previous code documents, talking with my structural engineer and others to dig up any significant update costs, and they all total a small fraction of this amount. I’ll be posting a calculator here soon for ALL these code updates going back in time, with real materials costs you can check yourself and plug into your own square footage.
  • If you have a tight budget for your rebuild, Boulder Creek Neighborhoods is now quoting $200-240 per square foot for their cute homes with a rough unfinished basement (about $75,000 gets you the complete basement). This is amazing and the perfect solution for those on a tight budget. Thank you Boulder Creek. I’ll be checking with them this week about energy code compliance and will report here.
  • I have some volunteers who will now be helping contribute their expertise to the Home Rebuilding page! Hooray! More soon…

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