This kind of collaborative is an emerging best practice in building energy codes. Since 2011, BCAP has leveraged funding from three foundations, including relevant regional energy efficiency organizations, to mobilize working groups to organize state-based Collaboratives. In each case, BCAP presented the state and stakeholders with the concept of forming a Collaborative, engaged Collaborative members, and launched (or supported a state-based leader to launch) the Collaboratives by convening and leading initial meetings in each state.
Since 2010, BCAP has worked with over 20 states through the Compliance Planning Assistance (CPA) Program to help them take practical steps towards achieving full compliance with the model energy codes. Many states have expressed increased interest in energy codes in response to unprecedented funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. With new opportunities come new challenges, such as the ARRA obligation for states to achieve 90% compliance by 2017. Throughout the process, BCAP delivers targeted recommendations and data that accommodate state-specific needs and circumstances and meet reporting requirements.
A supportive local code enforcement infrastructure is crucial to realizing the benefits of energy codes. However, implementation and enforcement efforts are often lacking in many states, and receive disproportionately little attention in the world of building codes. To fulfill this need, BCAP and the International Code Council (ICC) created a program to improve enforcement of building energy codes by offering direct interaction with trained and experienced code professionals who understand the challenges and constraints of the field.
Through training and open peer-to-peer sharing, the Energy Code Ambassador Program (ECAP) strives to support the existing infrastructure by encouraging the correct and effective implementation of energy codes and by empowering existing code professionals so they may develop their familiarity and expertise with energy codes and share their knowledge. Implementation has been funded by the Energy Foundation, Tilia Fund, AEP Ohio and Columbia Gas of Ohio for efforts in April 2014.
ECAP trains and certifies code officials to…
- Become experts in energy codes and any other provisions made specific to their jurisdictions
- Educate local builders, designers, suppliers, and contractors on energy code provisions
- Share their knowledge and mentor other code officials on best practices
- Represent peer code officials to voice their concerns and perspectives to appropriate state officials
- Build a strong local and state infrastructure for energy code support