Nearly 99 percent of American homes are damp, drafty, noisy, and expensive to heat and cool, says Aleisha Khan, executive director of the Building Codes Assistance project, who blames the conditions on reluctance among states to adopt the International Energy Conservation Code.

Kahn says states are legally required to at least consider the IECC, but there is no requirement for adoption. Some states, like Alabama, have completely refused to even bring the code before their legislature. Khan calls the plethora of energy regulations a mess.

Currently, the U.S. House of Representatives is considering a climate bill that would require a nationwide energy efficiency code.

What are its chances for passage? Edward Vine, an energy efficiency expert at the California Institute for Energy and the Environment says adoption of strict energy efficiency standard will happen when consumers want it to. That's where I'd focus most of my energy, he said. We have to change the mentality of people.

Source: The Daily Climate, Andrew McGlashen