Adopting new energy codes as they are released is the only way to realize their benefits. Newer energy codes increase energy efficiency requirements, include more pathways to compliance, clarify sections, and offer free training and software to help with compliance and enforcement. They are also the only codes that pay for themselves by reducing load demand for utilities and operational costs for owners.
Think of it as updating your computer to a new operating system – you can stay on the older version, but eventually your computer slows down and fails to accommodate new technologies. Meanwhile, new versions run faster, accommodate these new technologies, and improve the computer’s overall performance. The same is true with energy codes.
Energy code adoption often occurs at the state level. There are two primary energy codes adopted in the U.S.: the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and the ASHRAE 90.1 standards. These codes are updated every three years to stay up to date with other model codes (fire, plumbing, etc.) and avoid big jumps or changes that would occur if they were updated less regularly. Check out NEEP’s Model Codes page to learn more).
With proper support, adopting new energy codes helps standardize industry practices, improves homes and building energy efficiency and resilience, and saves homeowners and states energy and money. Check out NEEP's Code Adoption Toolkit for support, resources, and information on how to adopt stretch codes.
State Base Energy Code Tracker