ICC to Incorporate Energy Rating Scores Into 2015 International Energy Conservation Code
OCEANSIDE, CALIFORNIA–(Marketwired – Nov. 6, 2013) – In a groundbreaking move that promises to benefit both builders and homebuyers, the International Code Council (ICC) voted to incorporate an optional Energy Rating Index (ERI) compliance path into the 2015 version of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) at its meeting in Atlantic City. The meeting took place on October 7, 2013.
The resolution means that for the first time, builders will have the option of complying with energy code requirements by meeting a performance goal based on HERS Index scoresrather than simply following a checklist of energy efficiency measures as specified by code. This move could save homebuyers up to $850 annually while providing builders with greater flexibility in meeting energy code requirements.
The most commonly used ERI in the U.S. is Residential Energy Services Network’s (RESNET) Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index. Over the course of the last three years, over one-third of all new homes built in the U.S. have been rated for energy efficiency via the HERS Index and been graded by HERS Index scores.
The ERI compliance path is interpreted via an ERI score where a home scoring “100” meets the 2006 standards and a “0” score is equivalent to a net-zero energy home. The HERS Index Score is compatible to ERI requirements, thereby allowing builders to use their HERS Index Score to conform to the 2015 IECC. The adopted new performance path also requires that a builder must meet the mandatory envelope requirements of the 2009 IECC.
The U.S. is divided into 8 climate zones, for which the applicable HERS Index scores now adopted by the IECC are:
|Regions 1 and 2||52|
|Region 7 and 8||53|
The upgrade to the 2015 IECC will result in advantages to consumers such as:
- Savings to homebuyers of up to $850 annually
- Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 20% compared to 2012 IECC, and by 40% compared to the 2006 IECC
- National cost savings of over $100 billion by 2030 compared to the 2006 IECC
Advantages to builders include:
- Greater flexibility in meeting energy code requirements
- Builders can select the efficiency measures that cost the least and perform the best for each home
The Natural Resources Defense Council, Institute of Market Transformation and the Britt/Makela Group proposed the new compliance path.
Steve Baden, Executive Director for RESNET, praised the decision as a “victory for consumers and builders. Homes complying through this path will be higher performing hence resulting in lower utility bills while at the same time providing more flexibility to builders in meeting the code. The action is also a big step for RESNET and the HERS industry. With this new responsibility RESNET has to step up its game and make a concentrated effort to ensure consistent and accurate HERS Index scores.”
The Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) is the independent, national nonprofit organization that homeowners trust to improve home energy efficiency and realize substantial savings on their utility bills. RESNET’s industry-leading standards are recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, among others.