New Year, New Codes

Energy efficiency rang in the New Year with seven states implementing new and improved building energy codes. The 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), the latest version of the energy code, is now enforced in Maryland and Vermont; the 2012 IECC is implemented in Idaho, Minnesota, and New York; and the 2009 IECC is used in Arkansas and Louisiana. Here, some key facts about the new state code updates:

2015 IECC
  • Maryland is the first state to enforce the newest and most efficient version of the IECC, with the adoption and effective date of January 1, 2015. The state adopted the 2015 IECC un-amended for both residential and commercial buildings.
  • Vermont is the first state to adopt the 2015 IECC. Before Maryland, Vermont finalized its code adoption process on December 5, 2014, but with a later effective date of March 1, 2015. Currently, Vermont is also developing its first Stretch Code to deliver additional building energy efficiency beyond the two base codes (Vermont Commercial and Residential Building Energy Standards).

2012 IECC
  • After almost a year-long process, Idaho finalized its adoption of the 2012 IECC and made the newly updated code effective January 1, 2015. The 2012 IECC was adopted un-amended for commercial buildings, but was amended significantly for residential buildings such that the new residential provision is largely unchanged from the 2009 version; amendments, especially those pertaining to the minimum allowed performance of insulation and fenestration, brought the effective results of the 2012 IECC to the code stringency of the 2009 IECC.
  • Minnesota adopted a new code based on the 2012 IECC on June 1, 2014 for both commercial and residential buildings. The Commercial Energy Code is based on the 2012 IECC Chapters 2 through 5 with an option to use ASHRAE 90.1-2010; the effective date for the commercial code has not been determined yet. The Residential Energy Code went into effect on February 14, 2015 with some amendments to the 2012 IECC.
  • New York updated its commercial code by adopting the 2012 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2010 with NY amendments. The new commercial code became effective on January 1, 2015. The residential provisions are currently under review for an update.

2009 IECC
  • Arkansas adopted new commercial and residential energy codes based on the 2009 IECC. Both codes went into effect on January 1, 2015. The new commercial code with the Arkansas amendments allows for an alternative compliance pathway through ASHRAE 90.1-2007.
  • Louisiana updated its residential energy code with a few amendments. The new code is now based on the Chapter 11 of the 2009 IRC with an effective date of January 1, 2015.