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Leading the Way to Energy Efficiency

Codes and standards are a critical component in reducing energy use and combating the impacts of a changing climate. For over four decades, the International Code Council and its legacy organizations have led the development of energy codes that have reduced the impact of energy use on the planet and saved consumers billions of dollars.

In January, the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce contacted the Code Council to request information about its code development process and the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Today we released information to the Committee that explains our role in helping communities around the world become more energy efficient. Download our response here.

We’d like to share a few important themes from our response with you:

  1. The Code Council’s development processes have resulted in the most widely adopted set of model building codes. Our open, transparent, and rigorous process drawing on expertise across stakeholders results in strong consensus, buy-in, and support for code adoptions used to ensure safe, affordable, and sustainable buildings and communities worldwide.
  2. The Code Council has numerous partners in various sectors of the building safety industry and publicly discloses the membership of its Codes and Standards Development Committees. No Code Council partner, including home builders, exerts disproportionate control over our development processes.
  3. The Code Council’s IECC has achieved significant energy efficiency improvements. Based on data from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the 2021 IECC is expected to be over 43% more efficient for residential buildings and 39% more efficient for commercial buildings than the 2006 IECC. The baseline efficiency requirements in the 2021 IECC are only 10 percent away from the 2021 IECC’s zero energy appendix for residential buildings.
  4. The Code Council is committed to providing code officials, policymakers, and the construction community with the tools necessary to meet their energy objectives. We are committed to providing tools for communities seeking to achieve net zero construction by 2030 or 2050 as well as those seeking to incorporate electric vehicle charging, renewable energy, and other policy objectives into their construction standards.
  5. The Code Council is considering whether to move from a code development process to a standards development process for the IECC in order to strengthen the code and its adoptability. If the IECC is developed as a standard, it would be updated using the Code Council’s Consensus Procedures, which comply with ANSI’s Essential Requirements and prevent dominance by any interest category. The standards development process would allow for additional time for debate and put the IECC on a continuous maintenance cycle to allow for more timely consideration of rapid advancements in technology.

As long-standing leaders in developing energy efficient communities, we welcome the increasing conversations in the public space about the impacts of energy use on our future. And, we continue to welcome feedback from all stakeholders. Please submit your questions and concerns to memberinput@iccsafe.org.