The Indiana Residential Code Committee will review proposed updates to the residential building code’s safety and energy-efficiency rules on July 18th. Proposed changes include increased insulation, air leak testing, and the use of an energy rating index in new homes.

The state has not updated its energy-efficiency and safety requirements in several years, and ranked 40th on the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy’s scorecard last year.

“These homes are going to be around for at least 50 years and if we can make them energy efficient when they’re built, then they will be saving energy throughout the life of the home,” says Monica Cannaley, the energy efficiency organizer of the Sierra Club’s Hoosier Chapter.

Carlie Hopper, governmental affairs director for the Indiana Builders Association, says the proposed changes will likely increase the upfront cost of a home for new buyers. “These are things that make you more comfortable and, yes, may ultimately save you on your bill," says Hopper. "The point is you have to be able to pay for them upfront. So if you can’t do that, then it keeps you out of that first home that might also offer you those additional safety features.”

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