Electric Vehicle Wiring Requirement for New Homes in Boulder County

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BOULDER – In an action that became effective on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, the Boulder County Board of Commissioners adopted the most recent—and progressive–building codes for energy efficiency and added requirements that all new homes be wired for electric vehicles and solar panels.

The added requirement for electric vehicle pre-wire makes Boulder County one of the few jurisdictions in the nation–and first in the southwest–to require that garages associated with new homes, duplexes and townhouses come with either 240-volt electric vehicle charging units or the wiring or conduit needed for easy installation of the charging units later on.

“It’s a good example of leadership on the part of the community,” said Mike Salisbury, Transportation Program Associate at the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project and an advocate to the County for the amendment.

“Pre-wiring for electric vehicles as part of new construction can save the average homeowner $1,000 over the cost of a retrofit outlet for a plug-in vehicle.”

The new codes also have an added requirement that builders either install solar panels for generating electricity or heating water or the wiring and/or conduit for future solar installations.

Homes built to the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code codes that the commissioners adopted are tightly constructed and fine-tuned for very efficient heating and cooling.  With the addition of solar panels, they are likely be net zero energy, meaning that they produce as much power as they use.

Commissioners passed a related resolution on Jan. 3 which lays out the county’s intention to move towards a net zero energy requirement for new residential construction by 2022, said Commissioner Will Toor.

“The upshot of the commissioners’ decision to adopt the latest energy conservation codes is that buyers of new residences will enjoy extraordinary comfort and very low utility bills,” said Jim Meyers, Director of the Buildings Program at the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project.  

The new building codes apply to unincorporated areas of Boulder County.


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There Are 4 Responses So Far. »

  1. This is crazy. Even considering that Boulder is one of the “greenest” communities in the nation, what will be the adoption uptake of EVs? Although perhaps minimal compared to the cost of a McMansion, to force such an increase in building costs seems unwarranted. Why not let the builder or potential homeowner decide if they may in the future want to install PV or EV charging and let them decide to assume that cost? Or, perhaps this is a back door attempt at discriminating who they want in their community? Just a thought.

  2. The article did not say it will cost the builder $1,000 to add an EV wiring to the home. The article said it could cost the homeowner up to $1,000 to install an electrical circuit at a future time. As we all know it costs more to add efficiency to a home after it is built than to add it during construction. So I would assume the cost to the builder is much much lower than $1,000. And if the majority of new homes have the circuit breaker panel near the garages, like my house, then the cost can’t be to expensive to run a new circuit and outlet into the garage.

  3. I don’t think this is a backdoor attempt. I think it is very obvious who Boulder wants to associate with and they design their town to attract those people. Boca Raton, FL probably has more handycap accessible laws. Some communities require bluegrass lawns or don’t allow apartment buildings. It’s no big deal.

  4. [...] Boulder County Requires Electric Vehicle Wiring for New Homes — Colorado Energy News. [...]

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