While many states have worked hard to adopt the 2009 or 2012 IECC, implementation and compliance are sometimes overlooked. But that is changing. National, regional, and local focus is shifting to address meeting the 90 percent compliance goal set by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Working with numerous state energy offices to investigate and assess a state’s existing energy code infrastructure, one common weakness BCAP identified was a lack of awareness, understanding, and involvement in the building energy code development process by design professionals.
These days it seems that all states are taking some flack as they work toward meeting their Recovery Act obligations by the year 2017, but some aren’t taking “no can do” for an answer. It’s not always easy, especially in home-rule states where current law prohibits the state from adopting a statewide code. But that didn’t stop the state of Illinois, which passed legislation in 2009 to remove the local home-rule jurisdiction over residential energy standards and adopt the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).
In the wake of the Great Recession in 2009, Congress passed the Recovery Act to stimulate the national economy. Within that legislation, a pot of $3.1 billion in expanded State Energy Program (SEP) funding was linked to commitments from states to update their building energy codes and to develop plans to achieve greater rates of compliance by 2017. By January 2014, BCAP projects that about two of every three U.S. states will have implemented building energy codes that meet or exceed the energy efficiency of the model codes referenced by the Recovery Act – the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007. In finding methods of reaching these goals, a common best practice emerged: establishing a state Energy Code Compliance Collaborative.
A long time ago in a first term far away, there was the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), a.k.a the Stimulus. As explained by the DOE, the ARRA section on State Energy Program funding included a statutory provision (Section 410) linking SEP funding to building energy code adoption and enforcement. As a condition of accepting the ARRA funding, the states provided assurances through governor’s letters indicating their state would comply with the terms of Section 410.