Midwest Energy Codes Status Report - February 7, 2014

Midwest Energy Codes Status Report

February 7, 2014

Building Energy Codes Activity


  • On January 7, 2014, the Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) held a public hearing on the proposed update of the statewide building energy code to the 2012 IECC.  There was no opposition to the proposed code, either from written public comments or from attendees of the hearing. As a result, DPS is moving forward with the update of the energy code for residential and commercial buildings, with several amendments to the residential code.  The proposed code must be approved by the Iowa legislature’s Administrative Rules Review Committee before going into effect. The proposed amendments to the residential section of the 2012 IECC are as follows:
    • Air Infiltration: Air tightness requirement changed from 3 ACH50 to 4 ACH50
    • Duct Tightness: Changes requirements from only total duct leakage of 4 cfm/100 sq ft to allowing two options: total leakage of 6 cfm/100 sq ft or 4 cfm/100 sq ft leakage to outside.
    • Building Cavities: Allows interior building cavities to be used as return ducts; if building cavities are used as return ducts, they must be sealed and tested for tightness with the entire duct system (even if all ducts are located within conditioned space).
    • Above grade wall insulation: Climate Zone 6 prescriptive value changed from (R-20 + 5 or R-13 + 10) to (R-20 or R-13 + 5); U-factor table remains unchanged
    • Exempts additions and renovations from the code


  • The process to adopt the 2012 IECC as the statewide building energy code is continuing in Minnesota.  The Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) has been working to resolve issues on the residential building code (particularly the issue of fire sprinklers), except for the energy portion.  A public hearing was held in December, 2013 on those issues, which resulted in an approval of the proposed rules. The approved rules include a requirement for two-family residential buildings, townhouses, and single family buildings larger than 4,500 square feet to incorporate a fire sprinkler system.  DLI plans to release the draft residential energy code with the next round of proposed rules in the coming months.


  • Several parties have submitted bids to become the statewide third-party administrator for Energize Indiana, a group of utility-supported energy efficiency programs that includes an energy code compliance enhancement program. MEEA has assisted several of the bidders to answer questions on the energy code compliance section of their proposals.  MEEA participated in meetings in Indianapolis on January 23 – 24, 2014, where several of the bidders gave presentations and were interviewed by the Demand Side Management Coordination Committee.

Benchmarking and Energy Rating Activity


  • The State of Illinois, in collaboration with MEEA, completed a building energy benchmarking pilot, where they tracked over two consecutive years of energy usage of 17 buildings owned and operated by the State of Illinois. The data was compiled and entered into the EPA’s energy tracking tool, ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.  MEEA assisted in analyzing the data and completing a report that outlines the results from this pilot study.  To read more about this project, please see Steve Kismohr’s post at MEEA Unplugged, which includes a link to the final report.



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