"Currently electric resistance heating is at the center of a proposal that would alter the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) making it very difficult or impossible to select electric resistance heating in new construction and for remodel/rebuild construction projects." See http://www.supportelectricheating.com for details.
That is just crazy. If they really want to improve efficiency, they should start mandating electric heat and use the fossil fuels for power plants instead. This would be beneficial in two ways: One, fuel efficiency would be left to the professionals who run the plants instead of millions of gas/oil furnaces that are either inefficient or faulty. Additionally, by following this logic, electricity rates could actually be reduced since there would be an increase in demand.
Then of course, we have the obvious: It is a bit difficult to blow up a building or get killed by asphyxiation from malfunctioning electric heating. Yes, I'm a bit biased because I'm in the trade, but still.........
Around here, higher electric rates already made electric heat unattractive to the masses back in the early 1990ís, at least for new construction anyway. I might add a piece here and there for a bath remodel or small addition, but that is just about it.
There seemed to be a brief resurgence in interest about two years ago when oil and gas prices began climbing almost daily and it looked like they were going to stay high, but that seems to have passed, for the time being anyway. But with the storm thatís happening in the Gulf right now, along with the offshore drilling moratorium, all bets are off as to what will happen later this year.
Thats abosolutley absurd given that electricity is 100% efficent. It should be the local juristdiction regulating that, not the codes. He in SE Alaska, we are mostly hydro. Electricity is dirt cheap here. We are currently building a large warehouse with all electric heat that will save us $$$ annually Its cheaper to heat and does 0 impact on the environment. I can see where if the POCO infrastructure is taxed, and fossil fuel power systems are providing powr but still, what options you have for cheap power? Heat pump at high install cost and fossil fuel. Sort of defeating the purpose of the intent. a POCO can get more kWh per unit of then the average home owner, meaning less impact on the enviornment. talking about losing site of the big picture