Midwest Energy Codes Status Report
October 4, 2013
Building Energy Codes Activity:
The city of Columbia, Missouri has adopted the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) as its residential building energy code, effective October 1, 2013. The adoption was the result of a vote by the City Council on September 16th, making Columbia the largest jurisdiction in the Midwest to adopt the unamended version of the 2012 IECC. MEEA supported the efforts of local members of Sierra Club to educate city council members and stakeholders in Columbia by providing information on the benefits of advancing the municipal energy code. The Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP) also aided the efforts with a local media campaign.
MEEA estimates that homeowners will save around $250 - $300 per year in energy bills with a home built to the new energy code, compared to Columbia’s current code. The adoption of the increased energy efficiency requirements was covered in several local publications, including the Columbia Daily Tribune.
The Council opted to keep the commercial energy code at the current 2009 IECC/ASHRAE 90.1-2007 level.
The Michigan Bureau of Construction Codes began a review of the 2012 International Residential Code (IRC), including Chapter 11 on energy efficiency. The Residential Code Review Committee has held two meetings so far, and the next two meetings scheduled for October 17th and October 30th. More information can be found on Michigan’s Bureau of Construction Codes website, including the Committee meeting schedule and a code change proposal form. The new deadline for submitting code change proposals is November 22nd.
Midwest Building Energy Codes Conference:
MEEA will hold its 4th Annual Midwest Building Energy Codes Conference in Louisville, Kentucky from October 22nd – 24th. The first day of the event will be a full day focused on issues related to building benchmarking and disclosure. The second day will begin with an introductory “Energy Codes 101” breakfast, followed by a full day and a half focused on energy code issues in the Midwest, including in-depth discussion on utility codes compliance programs. For more information, contact Matthew Giudice at MEEA, firstname.lastname@example.org. Information on past conferences can be found on MEEA’s website.
National Model Code Development
The International Code Council’s Annual Conference is taking place in Atlantic City, October 2nd – 10th, including the public action hearings for the 2015 residential and commercial energy codes, which are scheduled to take place October 5th – 10th. At the public action hearings, voting-eligible government officials will vote on amendments to the 2012 energy codes, which will be incorporated into the 2015 residential and commercial energy codes. ICC plans to make the hearings available streaming live on their website.
MEEA will be closely monitoring the results, and more information on the outcome of the hearings will be provided in future updates.
Three important residential proposals that will be considered at the hearings are as follows:
RE-166: Will reintroduce equipment tradeoffs into the residential energy code, allowing credit to be taken for equipment that is installed that exceeds federal minimum efficiency standards. MEEA feels this would result in significant energy efficiency losses due to the overwhelming prevalence of high-efficiency equipment that is currently being installed in new residential construction in the Midwest. We will be urging eligible voters to oppose this proposal at the final hearing.
RE-150: This proposal rewrites the lighting efficiency standards in the residential energy code, which would allow lower efficiency lighting to be installed, compared to the 2012 IECC. As such, MEEA will be urging voting members to oppose this proposal at the final hearing.
RE-188: This proposal would introduce an alternative path to compliance with the residential energy code, allowing a builder to obtain an energy rating to show compliance. Under this proposal, the building would still have to meet building envelope requirements at least as stringent as the 2009 IECC. MEEA supports the flexibility of compliance options that would result from this measure, and we will be urging voting members to support this proposal at the final hearing.
For more information on MEEA’s energy codes activities, please contact:
Isaac Elnecave | Senior Policy Manager Matthew Giudice | Building Policy Associate
Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance