The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill this week based on specific recommendations from the National Institute of Building Sciences Consultative Council. On June 23, the House passed H.R. 4801, the Thermal Insulation Efficiency Improvement Act. The bi-partisan legislation introduced by Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Jerry McNerney (D-CA) calls for the U.S. Department of Energy to examine potential energy and water savings from expanded use of thermal insulation.
Each year, the Consultative Council develops the report, Moving Forward: Findings and Recommendations from the Consultative Council, which is included in the Institute’s Annual Report to the President of the United States. The bill is based on 2011, 2012 and 2013 recommendations.
One such recommendation from the 2011 report follows:
Hot water piping insulation requirements have been based on the energy savings associated with reduced heat loss from piping systems. However, thermal insulation also helps conserve water by reducing the time it takes from the initial demand for water (turning on the tap) until the water is delivered to the demand point at the required temperature. A study is needed to quantify the potential energy and water savings associated with increasing the use of pipe insulation.
“I’m proud to see the House investing in research that could significantly save both financial and natural resources all across the country,” said Rep. Kinzinger. “With the federal government being the single largest consumer of energy in the U.S., doing our best to maximize the potential savings from improved insulation systems is a commonsense step I think everybody can agree on.”
“It is important for us to look for ways to save taxpayer money and ensure the federal government is doing its part to preserve our natural resources,” said Rep. McNerney. “Thermal insulation can be a simple and effective way to reduce costs and help conserve both water and energy. Additionally, we can use the findings from this study and make sure we are doing everything we can in both federal and private buildings to maximize energy and water efficiency.”
Following release of the 2012 report, a small group of stakeholders and participants from the Consultative Council came together to examine the business case for use of thermal insulation. Ron King of the National Insulation Association, who chairs the Institute’s National Mechanical Insulation Committee (NMIC), led the effort, along with representatives from ASHRAE, the American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE), International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), International Code Council (ICC) and other organizations. Many of the Council participants expressed support for the bill and advocated for its passage.
The bill is expected to be introduced in the Senate. View the language.
About the National Institute of Building Sciences
The National Institute of Building Sciences, authorized by public law 93-383 in 1974, is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that brings together representatives of government, the professions, industry, labor and consumer interests to identify and resolve building process and facility performance problems. The Institute serves as an authoritative source of advice for both the private and public sectors with respect to the use of building science and technology.
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