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NEEA Energy Codes Update - Q2 2014

Created 7/15/2014 by Ken Baker
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This is the NEEA codes update only.  A separate Conduit update will be posted for standards. 

For information on residential standards, please contact Charlie Stephens – Cstephans@neea.org

For information on commercial standards, please contact Louis Starr – Lstarr@neea.org

For codes information please contact me. 

Thank you.


kbaker@neea.org  - 208-861-5736. 


Energy codes and standard work is a continuous process of development and implementation.   It is actually a very dynamic process that requires a lot of input, analysis and field verification.  Over the past 4 years residential compliance studies were implemented in our four northwest states.  The overall compliance was very high, exceeding 90%.  We don’t think the rest of the nation is close to this level of compliance - thanks to all of you for 18 years of good work! 

Led by David Cohan and his team, the Department of Energy recently released a funding opportunity to perform residential compliance assessments in key areas of the U.S. so we will know more about residential compliance outside of our region in about a year.

NEEA is currently in process of selecting a contractor to put together a commercial energy code compliance study.  Commercial compliance is more difficult to assess than is residential because of factors such as types, use and sizes of the buildings and system complexity such as HVAC and lighting and controls.  We will know more about the criteria needed to make good assessments by the end of the year so I will update you as progress is made.  

Codes Update:

1.       Oregon

NEEA now has a contract with the Oregon Department of Energy.  The NEEA funds cost share a new employee who will be providing energy code education and training for the design industry in the commercial sector. 

NEEA and the Energy Trust of Oregon have been working closely with the Building Codes Division and Oregon Department of Energy to create some new above-code incentive measures and packages.  We expect to have some packages together by Q3 to take to the BCD Energy Board for approval.

On the residential side, our contract with the Oregon Homebuilders Association looks to be effective in getting code training out to homebuilders.  Howard Asch, our contact and an OHBA employee has been very proactive in creating online training programs which has been generating lots of builder participation.  Howard is currently putting together a new video session on the energy code.

Total training attendees for Q2 - 360

2.       Washington

Washington is cycling through year one of the 2012 code with continued education and training and considerable technical assistance statewide.  The residential training and technical assistance is provided through Washington State University.  Commercial training and technical assistance is delivered through the Northwest Energy Efficiency Council.  Thanks to Gary Nordeen, WSU, and Lisa Rosenow, NEEC, for leading a considerable education and training effort throughout industry.  

Mike Lubliner, WSU, was selected to serve on a national rule making committee to update manufactured home energy efficiency specifications.  Congratulations Mike! 

As of June, NEEA will have contracts with Ecotope, New Buildings Institute, NEEC, Mike Kennedy, Pacific Northwest Lab and Britt/Makela Group to work on 2015 code proposals and a guiding roadmap for Washington commercial code changes through 2030.  We are working very closely with Chuck Murray at the Department of Commerce to put together these proposals for the Building Code Council.  Duane Jonlin, City of Seattle and Pacific Northwest Lab personnel are also participating in the code development process.  We are very excited about the potential code change ideas that will emerge from this group and intend that the code outcomes will inform code development across the northwest and possibly affect national level codes.   Next quarter we should have code change ideas to share with Conduit subscribers. 

Residential code changes are being led by staff at Washington State University and are also underway with ideas for expansion of builder option packages.

 The Washington energy code Technical Advisory Group will begin meeting this summer to discuss both residential and commercial 2015 proposals. 

Total training attendees for Q2 - 544

3.       Idaho

Idaho’s big news for this quarter is finalization of a homeowner survey conducted through a Bonneville Power contract with the Idaho Office of Energy Resources.  OER worked with Sharon Grant, Eco Edge, and contracted with Boise State University to design and implement a statistical representative survey of Idaho homeowner perception of energy codes.   The results are very supportive of Idaho retaining national level energy codes.  For example, of the 600 random surveys, 65% favored energy codes.  For more information about the survey please contact me. 

Idaho is getting ready to implement the 2012 IECC as of January 1, 2015.  The commercial code was adopted in full and the residential code was amended to retain much of the 2009 level of stringency.   Stakeholders are currently working with the State Building Codes Board to reinsert code language requiring whole-house ventilation on homes tested to less than 5 air changes per hour at 50 pascals.

Total training attendees for Q2 - 137

4.       Montana

NEEA, with funder support, and the Montana Division of Environmental Quality have shared in the cost of seven blower doors, seven duct blasters and five infrared cameras that were purchased by the Montana Building Industry Association.   NCAT (National Center for Appropriate Technology) has begun statewide training sessions that will certify industry attendees on the use of equipment.  Once certified, the equipment will be available for check out and use for code compliance. 

NCAT has completed round one of statewide training for the residential industry.  There were 76 attendees throughout the seven statewide training locations.  Attendees learned how to use a blower door from a classroom to on site perspective.

Montana DEQ hosted a third facilitative session for development of a strategic plan to guide future code actions.  A very clear need emerged for a robust marketing and outreach effort for the residential code that targets builders and consumers.

The 2012 IECC was predicted to become effective in April of 2014 but the timeline for adoption is now October. 

Total training attendees for Q2 - 76

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