Midwest Energy Codes Status Report - December 17, 2015


Midwest Energy Codes Status Report

[December 17, 2015]

Building Codes Activity



At the December 15 hearing, the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) declared that the 2015 Illinois Energy Conservation Code Rules, filed by the Secretary of State in September, will become law. The rules (an amended version of the 2015 Commercial and Residential IECC) will go into effect January 1, 2016. 


The Iowa Building Code Bureau has initiated the process to consider the adoption of the 2015 International Code Council (ICC) model building codes, but decided not to hear the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) at the State’s Building Code Advisory Council (BCAC) meetings, initially. A presentation about the 2015 IECC was provided at the December 2 BCAC meeting.  A separate body of stakeholders, the Energy Code Work Group, met on December 4 to determine if the 2015 IECC should be considered for state adoption, with the rest of the 2015 I-Codes. MEEA, along with various sectors in the building community, participated in the discussion. A decision on whether to move forward with the adoption process will likely be made in January, 2016.


The Michigan Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) filed the 2015 Residential Michigan Energy Code (MEC) (an amended version of the 2015 IECC) with the Secretary of State on October 9, 2015. When compared to the current 2009 Residential MEC, the 2015 code improved duct and air sealing tightness, high efficacy lighting and window requirements. The code also provides an option for building compliance through an unamended Energy Rating Index (ERI) path. The 2015 Residential MEC is expected to go into effect February 8, 2016. Michigan is also considering the adoption of ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013 (with reference to the 2015 IECC). The 2015 Commercial MEC is expected to go into effect November, 2016. A timeline for the commercial and residential MEC can be found, here


MEEA received notice that the Minnesota Court of Appeals declared Minnesota’s Residential Energy Code (MREC) valid, in response to a petition challenging the code by the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC), last February. BATC argued,” the Energy Code implements various new requirements that are unnecessary, provide no appreciable benefit, and go beyond recognized standards of energy efficiency.” BATC also argued that the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry failed to consider alternatives that would satisfy energy-conservation objectives, specifically the 2015 IECC. The court ruled that BATC did not provide substantive reasons behind their first argument and the 2015 IECC could not be considered as an alternative because it was not part of the record. Please find the Court’s response, here


The Ohio Board of Building Standards (BBS) is currently discussing the adoption of the 2012 and 2015 IECC Commercial and Residential provisions. A Residential Code Advisory Committee (RCAC) hearing was held in Reynoldsburg (an eastern suburb of Columbus) on December 2 to gain an understanding of the residential 2012 and 2015 IECC. Other RCAC meetings on the IECC have yet to be planned, but are expected. Additionally, the BBS introduced ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013 for the consideration of state adoption. MEEA will track both of these potential adoption cycles and provide additional information as it becomes available.

For more information on MEEA’s energy codes activities, please contact:
Isaac Elnecave | Senior Policy Manager
Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance
Ian Blanding | Building Policy Associate
Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance

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