In February 2017, Vermont Realtors approved the introduction of legislation that, starting January 2018, would require that home buyers receive general information about opportunities to reduce energy use.
In July 2016 Massachusetts amended its current building codes to include the 2015 IECC / ASHRAE 2013, which will become fully effective on January 2, 2016. The update includes state amendments for the base energy code (residential and commercial), as well as an updated stretch energy code.
Further amendments not incorporated for this current (Eighth) edition of the state building code, such as the renewable energy readiness provisions, will be reconsidered when Massachusetts later adopts the entire 2015 I-code package as its Ninth edition. UPDATE: Public hearings regarding adoption of the Ninth edition will be held on March 7, 2017 in Boston and March 14, 2017 in Springfield, each starting at 10am. Written comments are also being accepted. The public comment draft language includes language on solar ready roofs and EV charger ready wiring but otherwise does not change the adopted energy code.
NEW: Senate Bill 1771 would establish a zero net energy building standard for new residential construction by 2020 and for new commercial construction by 2030.
The Department of Public Safety has announced a proposal to update the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code (MUBEC) on or around
October 1, 2016 December 1, 2016 January 2017 TBD. Pending the results of the public hearing and final review processes, the state has proposed to adopt the 2015 IECC / ASHRAE 90.1-2013 for commercial buildings, as well as ASHRAE 62.1-2013, as mandatory codes under MUBEC. While the proposed update retains the current 2009 IECC for residential buildings, blower door testing with a limit of 5 ACH-50 (July 2017), increased wall insulation (January 2018), and mandatory whole house ventilation (July 2018) provisions would be phased into effect and ASHRAE 62.2-2013 would be adopted as a voluntary standard.
NEW: Two code rollback bills plus one additional energy code related bill were introduced this session:
- LR 308 would allow municipalities to opt out of enforcing the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code (MUBEC)
- LR 1931 would increase the minimum municipal population that triggers mandatory enforcement of MUBEC from 4,000 to 10,000 residents
- LR 1456 would amend the laws governing the MUBEC
A pair of field guides customized for Delaware's residential building energy code are now available. The guides, which are organized by inspection stage (for code officials) and by trade (for builders), feature checklists and pictures for easy use on site as well as detailed information for training on the 2012 IECC-based code. The books include guidance for meeting the code and recommended practices for achieving additional energy savings. Along with being available in print, sections of the guides are freely available online.
NEW: Delaware will soon conduct a state-wide study to determine compliance with the current energy codes and inform the energy code update process anticipated for spring 2017. The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will also plans to host HERS trainings March 22-31, 2017 in order to help prepare for any energy code update.
House Bill 92 would revise the definition of the New Hampshire state building code to include the 2015 edition of the IECC as well as several other I-codes. It would also ratify weakening amendments to the state building code adopted by the state building code review board in 2016 (including thermal envelope depiction, wall insulation, air leakage testing, duct leakage testing, and mechanical ventilation).
UPDATE: This bill was heard by a NH House subcommittee on January 18, 2017.
NEW: House Bill 568, which passed the Senate on July 11, 2016, would direct Pennsylvania to immediately reopen its Uniform Construction Code (UCC) update process and consider changes made in the 2015 IECC as well as selected sections of the 2012 IECC. This bill follows an unsuccessful attempt to meaningfully update the state code in 2015, after which the Clean Air Council challenged the decision of the UCC Review and Advisory Council not to adopt the 2015 IECC. UPDATE: This suit was denied, and CAC is considering an appeal to the court's decision.
As for code compliance, HB 1543 would provide some additional funding for training code officials. Also, the Pennsylvania Energy Codes Toolkit offers monthly webinars, forms, instructional videos, and other resources to help improve compliance with the state's residential energy code. Also offered are free code consultations for builders and a new free iPad code inspection app. These services are being offered as part of a three year state code compliance study.
NEW: Connecticut has begun reviewing the 2015 IECC with the intent to prepare its initial draft in June in order to finalize its code update by August 2017. The State is currently accepting code change proposals until March 31, 2017, and the energy code subcommittee will report its amendment recommendations in March.
GDS Associates, in coordination with the New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning, has launched a New Hampshire Home Energy Score Pilot.
On October 3, New York's new 2015 IECC-based energy code became effective. State amendments to the model code will not be incorporated into the code books but are available in the 2016 Energy Code Supplement. An "unofficial" web version of the New York State energy code is available here. Note that the NYC Energy Code, which also went into effect in October, is even more efficient than this new state energy code (including additional insulation and air leakage testing requirements).
NEW: New York is developing a voluntary stretch code which, upon its completion by the end of 2016, give local governments that wish to demonstrate leadership on climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions a clear and high-impact opportunity to do so. "NYStretch" aims to provide a straightforward, flexible approach to achieving an approximately 10 percent energy boost in energy savings beyond code for residential, commercial and multi-family buildings. An October 13 webinar provided an overview of the development and potential applications of the NYStretch Energy Code.
LOCAL FOCUS: In July 2016, the City and Town of Ithaca, NY began a project to determine what policy tools can be used to incentivize or mandate green building standards for new commercial and residential construction.
Trainings and an energy code coach service for Maryland's residential 2015 IECC began in July 2015. These services are being offered as part of a three year state code compliance study.
NEW: Montgomery County will amend its green building laws to adopt the 2012 IgCC by October 28, 2016. All nonresidential construction in the cities of Baltimore and Rockville must already meet the 2012 IgCC, which became effective in April and July 2015, respectively.