Midwest Energy Codes Status Report - May 10, 2013

Midwest Energy Codes Status Report

April 27, 2013 – May 10, 2013

The following is a brief rundown of building energy codes activity in the Midwest/Plains states.

Building Energy Codes Activity:


  • The third codes stakeholder meeting was held in Des Moines on May 8th. There were around 20 attendees, including state and local code officials, home builders, utility representatives, a HERS rater, building material manufacturer representatives, Responsible Energy Codes Alliance, and MEEA. The group continued discussion on potential amendments to the 2012 IECC for Iowa’s statewide building energy code.  

    The proposed amendments included:
    •    Relaxation of air leakage requirement
    •    Adding an option to measure leakage to outside for duct tightness verification, in addition to total duct leakage in the current requirement.
    •    Including a cavity-only option for above-grade wall insulation
    •    Allowing building cavities to be used as returns; also requiring duct tightness testing if cavities are used as returns, even where all ducts are located within conditioned space
    These amendments may be included in recommendations to a governor-appointed committee that will hold public hearings and draft a proposed statewide energy code as part of Iowa’s rulemaking process. When the hearings are scheduled, we will include the dates in a future update.


  • The Nebraska Energy Code Compliance Collaborative held its second meeting in Lincoln on May 7th.  The group formed a mission statement, which can be found on the group’s website.   There was discussion on development of a Strategic Compliance Plan, and committees were established to address various aspects of the plan. The committees will focus on the following: funding, state and local policy, outreach, training, and compliance measurement (EM&V).

    The group also discussed issues relating to baseline compliance measurement for both the residential and commercial sectors.  Stakeholders again emphasized the need to include the real estate community, and they offered plans for targeted outreach and education.
    Please contact Chris Burgess of MEEA for more information, cburgess@mwalliance.org.


  • As mentioned in the previous update, Building Codes Assistance Project has selected eight code officials from around the state to serve as energy code ambassadors, and they will participate in a two day training May 16th and 17th.  The ambassadors will be expected to present at state and local code hearings, conferences, and anywhere that education on the code is needed statewide.  Please contact BCAP for more information.

International Code Council, 2015 Committee Action Hearings - Dallas, TX

  • The committee action hearings for the ICC’s 2015 code cycle were recently held in Dallas.  The hearings on the IECC were divided between residential and commercial.  Each sector had a Code Committee that voted on all of the proposed code changes.  There were many proposals considered and  voted on during the hearings.  A few of the significant changes that were accepted are listed below:

    2015 IECC - Residential

  • Equipment tradeoffs - RE-166: this proposal would bring back the 2006 IECC provision that allows tradeoffs between envelope requirements and HVAC equipment that is more efficient than the federal minimum when using either ResCheck or the performance path. We believe this would weaken the code and reduce energy savings, market penetration of high efficiency furnaces already exceeds 90% in many states. 
  • New compliance option – RE 188: this proposal would allow an additional path to show compliance if a home receives an energy score (similar to a HERS index) that indicates an energy performance that exceeds the normal performance path.  The building thermal envelope would have to meet or exceed the prescriptive requirements of the 2009 IECC table 402.1.1 or 402.1.3.

       2015 IECC – Commercial

  • CE 284 – Establishes requirements for service water heater commissioning
  • CE 294 – Establishes requirements for responsive daylight controls in certain daylight zones

These votes are not binding, but they will affect the final decision-making process at the Public Action Hearings in Atlantic City in October.  Voting results on the proposed IECC code changes can be found at the ICC’s website.

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
312.784.7253                                                                  312.374.0926
ielnecave@mwalliance.org                                          mgiudice@mwalliance.org