State and Local Policy Database

Energy Code Compliance

Implementation of energy codes is generally carried out by state and local agencies that are responsible for code compliance, enforcement, and training. These activities ensure that new construction meets the required level of efficiency. Agencies in different cities pursue varying methods of implementation and different levels of enforcement activity.

This sub-category includes information on three topics related to local code implementation: Jurisdiction spending on building code compliance in comparison to residential construction spending; use of alternative code compliance strategies, such as third-party plan review or performance testing; and availability of upfront technical support to owners/developers on energy code compliance at the design and permitting stages.

Arlington reported a budget of $14,500,000 for the building code department in 2014. This level of spending normalizes to $66.90 per $1,000 of residential construction spending for the city. Arlington does accept third party compliance for structural reviews, as allowed in the VA construction code. It has not established a voluntary code compliance option. Arlington provides Green Home Choice officials to support homeowners starting green building projects in their homes. The County sponsors their plan review and certification inspection.

Last Updated: October 2015

 

Atlanta has internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city requires building code officials to complete energy code training. Atlanta has made third-party plan review and performance testing mandatory for code compliance. Atlanta does not provide upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance. 

Last Updated: January 2017

Austin does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. Austin requires participation in third-party plan review and performance testing to verify compliance with energy codes. Additionally, Austin requires that all Development Review Department residential inspectors are energy-code certified. The Austin Energy Green Building Program provides upfront support for code compliance through technical assistance for all developers and builders .

Last Updated: January 2017

Baltimore has internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city requires building code officials to complete energy code training. Baltimore has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. Baltimore does not provide upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance.

Last Updated: January 2017

Birmingham does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city does not require building code officials to complete energy code training. The city has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. The city does not provide upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance. 

Last Updated: January 2017

The city of Boston has internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance through its Inspectional Services Department. Boston requires building code officials to attend training for energy code plan review and inspection. Boston requires participation in third-party plan review and performance testing to verify compliance with energy codes. Boston does not provide upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance.  

Last updated: January 2017

Boulder reported a budget of $6,000,000 for the building code department in 2013. This level of spending normalizes to $46.67 per $1,000 of residential construction spending for the city. Boulder requires HERS ratings for new residential homes and a COMCheck for commercial buildings under 20,000 sq. ft. Third-party verification of energy efficiency requirements are also required for commercial buildings over 20,000 sq. ft. Boulder provides developers and project specialists with a pre-application conference with city planners as upfront code support.

Last Updated: October 2015

Burlington reported a budget of $1,079,650 for the building code department in 2013. This level of spending normalizes to $998.43 per $1,000 of residential construction spending for the city. Burlington has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. The Burlington Electric Department reviews all designs upfront.

Last Updated: October 2015

Carrboro reported a budget of $274,000 for the building code department in 2013/2014. This level of spending normalizes to $17.62 per $1,000 of residential construction spending for the city.  Carrboro has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. Carrboro does not provide upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance.

Last Updated: April 2014

Charlotte does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city does not require building code officials to complete energy code training. The city has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. The city does not provide upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance. 

Last Updated: January 2017

Charlottesville reported a budget of approximately $700,000 for code enforcement in 2012. This level of spending normalizes to $10.78 per $1,000 of residential construction spending for the city.  Charlottesville has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option.  Charlottesville provides upfront support to building owners and developers for code compliance.  City staff review building permits with an eye toward energy code compliance. 

Last Updated: October 2015

Chicago does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. Building code officials do receive training on the energy code. Chicago building code officials are required to attend energy code training, which is provided by the state energy code compliance and training program. Typically, a special training is set up for plans reviewers and building inspectors, and is also provided by the State Energy Code program. 

The City of Chicago has a Registered Energy Professional program, among other enforcement mechanisms. This is new since the 2015 scorecard. Upon submittal of the building permit application, which also includes the submittal of building plans, project applicants are required to have a Registered Energy Professional (REP) review the plans to confirm compliance with the current energy code. The REP program is mandatory for all projects requiring a permit that are subject to the energy code. In addition, field inspectors are responsible for verifying compliance during on-site inspections.

Extensive training and other resources are provided by the State of Illinois’ Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, which provides statewide energy code training and resources. Some of the resources provided include free trainings, an ‘ask the expect’ service, code interpretations, and other tech tips for builders. The City of Chicago helps to promote these materials and trainings to the local community of developers, owners, and tradespeople.

Last Updated: January 2017

Cincinnati does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city does not require building code officials to complete energy code training. The city has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. Cincinnati offers building code consultations prior to issuance at its Business Development and Permit Center.

Last Updated: January 2017

Cleveland does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city does not require building code officials to complete energy code training. Cleveland has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. Cleveland provides upfront information regarding tax abatement opportunities for meeting green building standards for residential construction, but otherwise does not provide upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance. 

Last Updated: January 2017

Columbus does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city requires building code officials to complete energy code training. Columbus has made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance. Columbus does not provide upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance.

Last Updated: January 2017

Dallas does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city does not require building code officials to complete energy code training. Dallas has made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance. Dallas does not provide upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance.

Last Updated: January 2017

Denver does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city requires building code officials to complete energy code training. Denver has required mandatory review or performance testing for code compliance. Denver provides upfront support to developers or owners through public forums and online guidance documents. 

Last Updated: January 2017

Detroit does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city does not require building code officials to complete energy code training. The city has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. The city does not provide upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance. 

Last Updated: January 2017

Dubuque reported a budget of $21,832,969 for the building code department in 2012. This level of spending normalizes to $35.67 per $1,000 of residential construction spending for the city. Dubuque has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. Dubuque provides two forms of upfront code support: The Universal Design & Green Home Checklist and the Conduct Your Own Universal Design & Green Home Survey.

Last Updated: October 2013

El Paso does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city does not require building code officials to complete energy code training. The city has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. The city does not provide upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance. 

Last Updated: January 2017

Fort Worth does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. Code officials are trained on the 2015 IECC from the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO) and have had training from local ASHRAE chapters. Fort Worth has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, but certifies six third-party companies that developers may hire to perform construction and energy code inspections if they prefer not to use city staff. As upfront code support, Fort Worth holds pre-development and pre-construction conferences.

Last Updated: January 2017

Hartford has internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. Hartford does not require building code officials to complete energy code training. Hartford has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. Hartford does not provide upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance.

Last Updated: January 2017

Houston does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city requires building code officials to complete energy code training. Additionally, the code officials attend and vote in the IECC code development process. Houston requires participation in third-party plan review and performance testing for building energy code compliance. Houston provides upfront code support for all builders and developers through the Green Building Resource Center in the Code Enforcement Department. The director of the program offers plan reviews, cost-effective green options, and energy efficiency classes. 

Last Updated: January 2017

Indianapolis has internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city requires building code officials to complete energy code training. Indianapolis has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. Indianapolis does not provide upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance.

Last Updated: January 2017

Jacksonville does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city does not require building code officials to complete energy code training. The city has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. The city does not provide upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance. 

Last Updated: January 2017

Kansas City does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city requires building code officials to complete energy code training. Kansas City requires a portion of the new one and two family building stock in the city to undergo building envelope and duct tightness testing that is performed by a third party. The city offers upfront support to developers and owners in the form of trainings for building energy code compliance.

Last Updated: January 2017

Knoxville reported a budget of $2,468,000 for the building code department in 2013.We did not find information for the city's total spending on enforcement. Knoxville has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. As upfront code support, Knoxville provides contractor training on building certifications and energy code updates.

Last Updated: October 2015

Las Vegas does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city does not require building code officials to complete energy code training. Las Vegas has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. Las Vegas provides upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance through referrals to state program. 

Last Updated: January 2017

Lawrence reported a budget of $401,687 for the building code department in 2014. We did not find residential construction spending. Lawrence has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. As upfront code support, Lawrence has developed a commercial building permit design guideline which outlines the IECC 2012 in a comprehensible way.

Last Updated: October 2015

Los Angeles does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. Los Angeles has made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance. Department of Building and Safety provides training to its plan review and inspection staff on all the codes that they enforce including the energy code. The Department has a training division and uses outside trainers as well as outside training to ensure appropriate level of training is provided to staff. The city provides upfront support to owners and developers through various training programs.  

Last Updated: January 2017

Louisville does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city does not require building code officials to complete energy code training. The city has made third-party plan review and performance testing mandatory for code compliance. The city provides upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance. 

Last Updated: January 2017

Madison reported a budget of $4,066,479 for the building code department in 2012. This level of spending normalizes to $24.95 per $1,000 of residential construction spending for the city. Madison has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. Madison offers contractor training with continuing education credits as upfront code support.

Last Updated: October 2013

Memphis does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city does not require building code officials to complete energy code training. The city has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. The city does not provide upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance. 

Last Updated: January 2017

Miami does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city does not require building code officials to complete energy code training. The city has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. The city does not provide upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance. 

Last Updated: January 2017

Milwaukee does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city does not require building code officials to complete energy code training. Milwaukee has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. Milwaukee does not provide upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance.

Last Updated: January 2017

Minneapolis does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The Minnesota Residential Energy Code requires premise owners to hire specialists for progress inspections of the energy-code related project. The city requires building code officials to complete energy code training. The city does not provide up front support to owners and developers. 

Last Updated: January 2017

Nashville does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city requires building code officials to complete energy code training. Nashville has made plan review and performance testing by code officials mandatory for code compliance. Nashville also requires that residential buildings have blower door and duct blast tests performed by a certified third party. Nashville does not provide upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance.

Last Updated: January 2017

New Orleans has internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city does not require building code officials to complete energy code training. New Orleans has made third-party plan review and performance testing mandatory for code compliance. The City Planning Office provides free guidance and information relative to building code compliance to customers that go to the planning office to apply for permits and waivers.

Last Updated: January 2017

New York City has internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. New York City’s Department of Buildings requires premise owners to hire specialists for progress inspections of the energy-code related project. New York provides upfront support for energy code compliance by regularly conducting energy code training and pre-permit consultation with plan examiners. Training specific to energy code enforcement is required for all Department of Buildings plan examiners. 

Last Updated: January 2017

The city of Oakland spent $89,583,286 on residential construction costs in 2013. For the FY2013-2014, the City spent $7,050,102 on plan check and inspection normalizing to $78 on building code compliance per $1,000 of residential construction spending.

 Compliance with energy codes is not enforced by a third party in Oakland, however, the city does have third party acceptance testing for some commercial systems and mandatory Home Energy Rating System tests for various parts of residential buildings. The city provides upfront support through BayREN programs for single and multi-family units. We have not found information on whether Oakland requires some form of training for code officials.

Updated: February 2016

Oklahoma City does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city does not require building code officials to complete energy code training. The city has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. The city does not provide upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance.

Last Updated: January 2017

Orlando does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city does not require building code officials to complete energy code training. Orlando has made third-party plan review and performance testing mandatory for code compliance. Orlando does not provide upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance.

Last Updated: January 2017

Park City reported a budget of $1,200,000 for the building code department in 2014. This level of spending normalizes to $54.48 per $1,000 of residential construction spending for the city. Park City has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. Park City holds upfront energy code trainings for architects and contractors.

Last Updated: October 2015

Philadelphia does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city requires building code officials to complete energy code training. Philadelphia has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. Philadelphia does not provide upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance.

Last Updated: January 2017

Phoenix has internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city requires building code officials to complete energy code training. Phoenix has made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance. Phoenix provides upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance.

Last Updated: January 2017

Pittsburgh has internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city requires building code officials to complete energy code training. Pittsburgh has made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance. Pittsburgh provides upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance.

Last Updated: January 2017

Portland does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city requires building code officials to complete energy code training. Portland has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. Portland provided upfront support for energy code compliance through the ReThink program until the private-sector provider Earth Advantage met the market demand for code support.

Last Updated: January 2017

Providence does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city does not require building code officials to complete energy code training. The city has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. The city does not provide upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance. 

Last Updated: January 2017

Raleigh does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city requires building code officials to complete energy code training. Raleigh has made third-party plan review and performance testing mandatory for code compliance. Raleigh provides upfront support to developers and owners for energy code compliance.

Last Updated: January 2017

Richmond does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. Code officials receive training on the energy code and enforcement. Richmond has established participation in third-party plan review and performance testing as a voluntary building energy code compliance option. Upon request, Richmond provides upfront support to developers or owners by reviewing permit and applications to discuss energy code compliance related issues. 

Last Updated: January 2017

Riverside does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city does not require building code officials to complete energy code training. Riverside has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. Riverside does not provide upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance.

Last Updated: January 2017

Sacramento does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city does not require building code officials to complete energy code training. Sacramento has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. Sacramento does not provide upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance.

Last Updated: January 2017

Salt Lake City does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city does not require building code officials to complete energy code training. Salt Lake City has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. Salt Lake City does not provide upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance. 

Last Updated: January 2017

San Antonio does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. San Antonio does not require building code officials to complete energy code training. San Antonio has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. The city provides upfront code support for reaching building energy code goals.

Last Updated: January 2017

San Diego has internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city does not require building code officials to complete energy code training. The city has made third-party plan review and performance testing mandatory for code compliance. The city provides upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance.

Last Updated: January 2017

San Francisco does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. Third party performance testing is mandatory for various aspects of California code compliance including HERS testing, lighting controls acceptance testing, HVAC functional testing, and commissioning requirements. San Francisco does not provide upfront support or training for developers or owners for energy code compliance. 

Last Updated: January 2017

San Jose has internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. San Jose does not require building code officials to complete energy code training. San Jose has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. San Jose does not provide upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance.

Last Updated: January 2017

Seattle has internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. Seattle requires building owners to hire specialists for progress inspections of the energy-code related project. As upfront support, project applicants may meet with the energy and mechanical review staff about meeting energy codes before the permit application process. Seattle also requires training for building code officials specific to energy code plan review and inspection. 

Last Updated: January 2017 

St. Louis does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city does not require building code officials to complete energy code training. The city has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. The city does not provide upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance. 

Last Updated: January 2017

Tampa does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city requires building code officials to complete energy code training. Tampa has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. Tampa provides upfront building energy code support through energy code workshops.

Last Updated: January 2017

Virginia Beach does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city requires building code officials to complete energy code training. Virginia Beach has not made third-party plan review or performance testing mandatory for code compliance, nor has it established either as a voluntary code compliance option. Virginia Beach provides upfront support to developers or owners for energy code compliance through trainings.

Last Updated: January 2017

Washington does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. Washington requires code officials to complete energy code training. Washington has established participation in third-party plan review and performance testing as a voluntary building energy code compliance option. Washington provides upfront support for energy code compliance by regularly conducting energy code training and pre-permit consultation with plan examiners. 

Last Updated: January 2017