Policy Action Toolkit > Where to Begin: Types of Energy Codes

The two most widely-used model energy codes are the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and ASHRAE Standard 90.1. Selecting the most current national model energy code (the 2015 IECC or ASHRAE 90.1-2013) ensures that code reflects changes in technology and design that offer increased energy efficiency. States with no energy code in place should initiate a code adoption process to ensure the most current national model energy code is adopted. States that do have energy codes in place should consider updating to the most current national model energy code.

International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)

The comprehensive energy conservation code establishes minimum regulations for energy efficiency buildings using prescriptive and performance-related provision. It is founded on broad-based principles that make possible the use of new materials and new energy designs. The IECC is a part of the international family of codes (I-codes) published by the International Code Council (ICC). The suite of codes is updated every three years.

Why Energy Codes Matter

We don’t often think about the impact of building energy consumption, yet buildings account for over 40% of total national energy use – more than any other sector.

ASHRAE Standard 90.1

The purpose of this standard is to establish minimum energy efficiency requirements of building design and construction. Standard 90.1 has been a benchmark for commercial building energy codes in the United States and a key basis for codes and standards around the world. It is an indispensable reference for engineers and other professionals involved in the design of buildings and building systems.

Code Status Maps

BCAP has created a series of up-to-date maps to provide a national snapshot of residential and commercial building energy code adoption and implementation in each state.

Related pages

  • Connecting with Stakeholders

    Each state approaches the energy code adoption process differently. In most states, codes are adopted through the state congress and pass through both the house and senate sides. No matter who is making the decisions on energy codes, making your voice heard is invaluable to the adoption process.

  • Energy Code Reform

    Setting state-level expectations for improving efficiency can provide a common goal for a state’s government and code community to work toward and can ensure support for codes within state government as a valuable part of high-level strategy. We have categorized energy code policy actions into four different levels.

  • Energy Codes and ARRA

    The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) provided two opportunities for states to receive stimulus funds linked to building energy codes: Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants and State Energy Programs (SEPs).

  • Making the Case for Building Energy Codes

    Find sample support letters, sample press releases, outreach materials, and consumer resources here.

  • Public Buildings Policy

    This page depicts state-level policies for public buildings across the United States.

  • Understanding the Legislative Process

    How do states adopt energy codes? Most use either a regulatory process, a legislative process, or a combination of the two. However, some states are home rule, adopting and enforcing their codes at the local level.

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This page was last modified on: February 8, 2017