Washington, D.C. – On June 2, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed House Bill (HB) 22-1362 into law requiring all jurisdictions to adopt a modern energy code. Beginning July 1, 2023, the new bill requires all of the state’s jurisdictions to adopt and enforce the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) or an energy code that achieves equivalent or better energy performance when one or more building codes are updated. This legislation replaces a previous policy requiring that jurisdictions adopting a building code must adopt an energy code that meets or exceeds one of the three prior editions of the IECC. The State Architect must also update standards for state buildings to meet or exceed the 2021 IECC by the end of 2024.
The updates come as the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is standing up a grant program to assist with the implementation of updated energy codes. The Energy Code Implementation Program was established in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) passed in November 2021, providing $225 million over five years. The DOE is expected to release its funding opportunity announcement later this year. The Code Council is providing resources to help jurisdictions access this funding.
The new legislation aligns with the Code Council’s Code on a Mission campaign, which aims to have over a third of the U.S. population covered by energy codes that meet or exceed the 2021 IECC by the end of 2023. Several local governments in Colorado had already updated to the 2021 IECC before the law was passed.
“We’ve seen the proactive leadership of many Colorado jurisdictions earlier in the year in adopting the 2021 IECC, which set a positive outlook for the state’s access to clean energy resources and job opportunities,” said Code Council Vice President of Innovation Ryan Colker. “Bringing this leadership statewide highlights the significant energy savings homeowners can expect to see along with job creation and greenhouse gas emission reductions.”
In addition, HB 22-1362 requires that updated code adoptions include electric-ready, electric vehicle-ready, and solar-ready provisions. A solar-ready appendix already appears in the 2021 IECC, allowing jurisdictions to seamlessly implement this new requirement. The Code Council has also released a resource for communities interested in establishing electric vehicle charging requirements.
The law sets in motion additional requirements leading to energy efficiency improvements. The Colorado Energy Office will identify green code language that can be adopted voluntarily by jurisdictions by July 1, 2024. The International Green Construction Code (IgCC) has been adopted in Denver and could serve as a model for such provisions. The new law also requires that jurisdictions update their energy code again by July 1, 2026. The second update is to a code that is the more stringent than the 2021 or 2024 IECC (including potential appendices). With the new scope and intent for the 2024 IECC development process, the 2024 edition is required to be more stringent than the 2021 edition and will include additional requirements that set a glidepath to zero energy buildings by 2030. The inclusion of these requirements to the overall scope of the new legislation can lead to a significant increase of zero energy buildings in the state by 2030.
More details about the recently passed legislation can be found here.
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