You can use this step-by-step guide to determine the current building energy code in your location, and determine whether or not it is being effectively enforced.
Click on a link below to skip ahead to any step:
- What is the energy code for homes in my state?
- Which energy code has been adopted by my community?
- If adopted, is the energy code in my community being enforced?
- My state hasn’t adopted an up-to-date code. How do I learn more and get involved?
Step 1: What is the energy code for homes and buildings in my state?
Step 2: Which energy code has been adopted by my community?
Regardless of the map designations, you should determine that the code on the map matches the code your local building department adheres to. There are a few different ways to determine whether your community has adopted an energy code, but you may have to be persistent as this information isn’t always widely available or kept up-to-date.
- Visit BCAP’s local code adoptions page.
- Visit the website for your local building department to see whether there is information regarding the energy code that is in force.
- Contact your local building department to ask what energy code has been adopted.
Step 3: If adopted, is the energy code in my community being enforced?
Energy codes establish a minimum level of energy performance that must be met. Yet, even where up-to-date codes have been adopted, they may not be enforced due to funding constraints, staffing constraints, lack of training or lack of perceived value from the energy code. Simply put, builders and code officials often aren’t aware of the benefits of energy codes and if they don’t hear from the community, they often assume energy codes aren’t a priority.
You can use the energy code checklists on this site to assess new homes and determine whether energy code enforcement needs more attention in your community.
Step 4: My state hasn’t adopted the up-to-date code. How do I learn more and get involved?
Use the materials on this website to determine whether builders are meeting the national model energy code, then:
- Contact your local building department to discuss your findings.
- Contact your local and state energy office or environmental agency to discuss how energy codes can help improve air quality, manage energy supplies and control energy costs.
- Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper emphasizing the importance of energy codes in meeting climate goals, energy management goals, control utility costs, etc. and report on whether builders in your community are meeting energy code requirements.
- Determine whether your state or community has a climate action plan or energy strategy. Contact responsible parties to discuss the critical importance of energy codes in meeting local and state goals and share your perspective on whether or not builders are meeting energy code requirements.
- Participate in a city council meeting or codes hearing to report on whether builders are complying with energy code requirements.
- Take Action by contacting your elected official about energy codes.
To find out more:
BCAP coordinates national advocacy efforts through coalitions of national, state, and local organizations. Contact us to find out whether there is are energy code effort underway in your area.
Regional groups provide additional support for advocacy. Visit our Regional Energy Efficiency Partnership map to determine which group serves your state.