Current Commercial Code
Commercial Building Energy Standards (CBES)
Based on the 2015 IECC, includes alternative compliance path of ASHRAE 90.1 2013 with some Vermont specific requirements
Current Residential Code
Residential Building Energy Standards (RBES)
Based on the 2015 IECC
Climate Zone: 6A
Code Adoption and Change Process
Code Change Process
Legislative and Regulatory: RBES Revisions go through a process specified in the State Administrative Procedures Act (3 V.S.A. Chapter 25), including public notification, public hearing, testimony, and comments. The Vermont Department of Public Service must provide technical assistance and expert advice to the Commissioner of Labor and Industry on the interpretation of the RBES and in formulating specific revisions to the RBES. At least one year prior to adopting required revisions to the RBES, the Department of Public Service must convene an advisory committee to provide recommendations to the commissioner.
Every three years, the Department of Public Service shall promulgate rules update the residential and commercial codes to incorporate the most recent versions of the IECC and ASHRAE Standard 90.1. The rules must then be approved by Vermont Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (LCAR) with an effective date within three months of final adoption.
Code Change Cycle
As directed by Vermont Act 45 of 2009, the Department of Public Service shall update the residential and commercial codes to incorporate the most recent versions of the IECC and ASHRAE Standard 90.1, with an effective date within three months of final adoption.
Next Code Update
|January 2016||Vermont publishes an update to their Comprehensive Energy Plan, which provides a framework for advancing energy efficiency and clean energy goals in the state.|
|December 5, 2014||The RBES and CBES are both updated. The new residential code includes the 2015 IECC. The 2015 CBES is a standalone document for the State of Vermont based upon amendments to the 2015 IECC. The CBES also allows an alternative compliance path of ASHRAE 90.1-2013 with some Vermont specific requirements outlined in the energy code handbook. CBES applies to all new commercial construction, including additions, alterations, renovations, and repairs. Revisions are to take effect March 1, 2015 and “shall apply to construction commenced on and after the date they become effective”. RBES applies to all new residential construction, including additions, alterations, renovations, and repairs.|
|June 17, 2013||The Vermont legislature adopts Act 89, which clarifies the applicability of Vermont’s residential (and commercial) building energy codes to mixed-use buildings and includes various amendments to promote compliance with those codes, such as using existing State and local permit processes to encourage compliance.|
|Fall 2011||The Vermont Department of Public Service (DPS) develops a statewide energy code compliance plan, which will outline a realistic approach for achieving 90 percent compliance with the new Residential and Commercial Energy Codes by February 1, 2017.|
|October 3, 2011||DPS officially updates the 2011 Vermont CBES to reference the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2007 with several strengthening amendments from the 2012 IECC (the current 2005 CBES is based on the 2000 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2004). The revisions are to effect January 3, 2012 and will apply to all commercial construction, including alterations, renovations, repairs, and additions.|
|July 1, 2011||DPS updates the 2011 RBES to reference the 2009 IECC with several strengthening amendments from the 2012 IECC. As directed by Vermont Act 45 of 2009, DPS approved the new code in January, and the Vermont Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (LCAR) approved it in June. The revisions take effect October 1, 2011 and apply to all new residential construction, including alterations, renovations, repairs, and additions larger than 500 square feet. These revisions take effect on January 3, 2012. Free trainings on the 2011 RBES are being developed by Efficiency Vermont. The current 2005 RBES is based on the 2000 IECC.|
|May 27, 2009||The state legislature passes the Vermont Energy Act of 2009, which directs the Commissioner of the DPS to adopt the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2007 as well as to develop a plan to achieve compliance with these codes in 90% of new building space within eight years, as directed by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Every three years after that date, the Department of Public Service shall update the residential and commercial codes to incorporate the most recent versions of the IECC and ASHRAE Standard 90.1, with an effective date within three months of final adoption.
The bill directs the Department of Public Service to complete rulemaking on the adoption of the 2009 IECC for residential buildings (new construction and renovations of more than 500 square feet) and either the 2009 IECC or ASHRAE 90.1-2007 for commercial buildings by January 1, 2011, effective immediately upon final adoption.
By September 1, 2011, the Commissioner must issue a plan to achieve 90% compliance by February 1, 2017. The Commissioner must also establish training and enforcement programs as well as a system to annually measure the compliance rate by June 30, 2012.
|January 1, 2007||The 2005 CBES, based on the 2000 IECC and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2004, becomes effective.|
|2006||The Commercial Building Energy Standards (CBES) is enacted into law (21 V.S.A. § 268) as the energy code for all commercial buildings and residential buildings four stories or more above grade in Vermont.|
|October 2001||Vermont publishes its IECC-based 2001 Vermont Guidelines for Energy Efficient Commercial Construction in October 2001. The 2001 Commercial Guidelines incorporate ASHRAE Standard 90.1-1999 and a number of Vermont-specific amendments.|
|January 1, 2005||The 2005 RBES edition, based on the 2000 IECC, becomes effective.|
|May 1997||The State of Vermont enacts the Vermont Residential Building Energy Standards (RBES), a statewide residential energy code based on the 1995 CABO/MEC and Vermont amendments to the 2000 IECC. It becomes effective July 1, 1998 and applies to virtually all new residential construction.
The following buildings are exempt from both the technical and the certification requirements of the Vermont Energy Code:
News and Events
- Energy Code Adoptions in 2015 February 1, 2016
- Comprehensive State Energy Plans: A Brief Comparison October 29, 2015
- High Performance Schools: Northeast States Paving The Way For This And Future Generations June 24, 2015
- New Year, New Codes February 24, 2015
Cosimina has been a member of BCAP for over a decade, actively contributing to the organization’s nationally acclaimed initiatives aimed at assisting states and local authorities in the establishment and enforcement of robust and efficient building energy codes. Her involvement spans across advocacy, technical guidance, outreach programs, and the formation of strategic coalitions.