Cities and countries around the world are adopting building energy codes as tools to reduce energy consumption. Mexico City recently joined this wave, when, in June, the city updated its building regulations to include energy efficiency for the first time.
On paper, building codes have reduced energy use by over 30 percent in the last two decades. But building codes don’t achieve energy savings if they are not effectively implemented and enforced. The Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) found that staggering rates of noncompliance, as high as 100 percent in some jurisdictions of the United States, have eroded the gains from code development and adoption. If all new construction in the United States fully complied with building energy codes, the country would achieve annual energy savings of $63-$189 million, or lifetime savings of $37.1 billion.