Colorado

Last updated on 2014-01-13

Current News

The Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA/DHO) in partnership with the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) and the over 330 local building code jurisdictions in Colorado, continue to make significant progress in the adoption, enforcement and compliance with the 2009 IECC. The purpose of the code partnership is to provide technial assistance and support to Colorado local jurisdictions concerning the adoption, enforcement and compliance with the 2009 IECC. As of June 2012, the results of the partnership include the adoption of the 2009 IECC or above by local jurisdictions that account for over 85% of current residential and commercial construction in Colorado. As of July 2012, Colorado is in the process of establishing an Energy Code Compliance Collaborative to develop, manage, and promote the energy code compliance system for Colorado. The expected results of the Collaborative include a fully functioning compliance reporting system that supports the local jurisdiction enforcement efforts and provides useful data for program review. Current information on the Partnership can be found at www.colorado.gov/energycodes.

Current Code2003 IECC
Amendments / Additional State Code Information2003 IECC applies to all jurisdictions that adopt and enforce codes. 2012 IECC with reference to ASHRAE 90.1-2010 applies to all factory built and multifamily structures in areas of Colorado that do not adopt or enforce building codes.

Approved Compliance ToolsCan use COMcheck
State Specific Research Impacts of ASHRAE 90.1-2007 for Commercial Buildings in the State of Colorado
Approximate Energy EfficiencyEquivalent to 2003 IECC
Effective Date07/01/2008
Adoption Date05/03/2007
Code EnforcementMandatory
DOE DeterminationASHRAE 90.1-2007: Yes
ASHRAE 90.1-2010: No

Energy cost savings for Colorado resulting from the state updating its commercial and residential building energy codes in accordance with federal law are significant, estimated to be on the order of nearly $250 million annually by 2030.

Colorado DOE Determination Letter, May 31, 2013

Colorado State Certification of Commercial and Residential Building Energy Codes
Current Code2003 IECC
Amendments / Additional State Code Information2003 IECC applies to all jurisdictions that adopt and enforce codes. 2012 IECC with reference to ASHRAE 90.1-20010 applies to all factory built and multifamily structures in areas of Colorado that do not adopt or enforce building codes.

Approved Compliance ToolsCan use REScheck
State Specific Research Impacts of the 2009 IECC for Residential Buildings in the State of Colorado

Colorado Gap Analysis, December 2010 -- Building Codes Assistance Project, Compliance Planning Assistance Program

Colorado Building and Energy Codes Survey Results, July 2009 -- Governor's Energy Office

Colorado Strategic Compliance Plan -- Building Codes Assistance Project, Online Code Environment & Advocacy Network

Colorado Energy and Cost Savings for New Single and Multifamily Homes -- 2009 and 2012 IECC as Compared to 2006 IECC


Approximate Energy EfficiencyEquivalent to 2003 IECC
Effective Date07/01/2008
Adoption Date05/03/2007
Code EnforcementMandatory
DOE Determination2009 IECC: Yes
2012 IECC: No


Energy cost savings for Colorado resulting from the state updating its commercial and residential building energy codes in accordance with federal law are significant, estimated to be on the order of nearly $250 million annually by 2030.

Colorado DOE Determination Letter, May 31, 2013

Colorado State Certification of Commercial and Residential Building Energy Codes
Code Change ProcessLegislative
Code Change CycleNone

State Owned / Funded Buildings

Senate Bill 07-51 and Senate Bill 08-147 require that all projects funded with 25% or more of state funds conform with the High Performance Certification Program (HPCP) adopted by the Office of the State Architect if: the new facility, addition, or renovation project is greater than 5,000 square feet,  includes an HVAC system, and in the case of a renovation project, the cost of the renovation exceeds 25% of the current value of the building. The HPCP requires that projects achieve the highest possible LEED certification with the goal being LEED Gold. More information on the HPCP policy, including summaries, FAQs and project forms can be found at the Office of the State Architect's website.

Adoption Process

Colorado is a home rule state so no statewide energy code exists. Voluntary adoption of energy codes is encouraged and efforts through DOLA/DOH, GEO and DOE are directed toward informing local jurisdictions of the benefits of energy efficiency standards and providing materials and training to support code implementation.

Enforcement Process

Energy codes are not enforced at the state level. Local enforcement agencies in jurisdictions that have adopted building codes are required to enforce the provisions of the residential energy code at the local level, but may adopt their own requirements without state approval. Inspections are required as a part of the established building inspection process. No special inspection requirements exist for state-owned and -funded buildings. These inspections are handled by the local enforcement agencies.

C.R.S. 30-28-201 requires the board of county commissioners of a county that has enacted a building code to adopt and enforce a building energy code that meets or exceeds the standards in the 2003 IECC pursuant to section 30-28-211.

Compliance Process

The Colorado Compliance process is based on the use of the compliance and reporting tools developed by BECP.

Background

The Colorado legislature passed a law in 1978 requiring all jurisdictions that have adopted building codes to include energy efficiency requirements for both residential and commercial buildings. The energy requirement at that time was based on Chapter 53 of the 1979 Uniform Building Code (UBC) - a codified version of ASHRAE/IES Standard 90-1975. A sunset provision was included for commercial buildings requiring the legislature to specifically extend the provisions for those buildings. The legislature failed to act and the commercial requirements were terminated in 1980, except for jurisdicitions that had adopted this code prior to the termination. Since that time, no state-wide energy code has existed for buildings other than one- and two-family dwellings and multi-family residential buildings three stories or less in height, although local jurisdictions can and do adopt their own energy requirements. For example, the city of Fort Collins adopted a modified version of the 1995 MEC and ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-1989 effective July 1, 1996.

On May 3, 2007, the state legislature passed HB 07-1146, improving the energy performance of the state's new buildings as part of a comprehensive energy strategy that begins with energy efficiency and incorporates renewable energy technologies. HB 07-1146 calls for all Colorado jurisdictions that have a building code in place to adopt a minimum energy code standard of the 2003 IECC or 2006 IECC by July 1, 2008. Jurisdictions without building codes will be exempt.

The Colorado Energy Codes Support Partnership (ECSP) was established in 2010 and includes the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA/DOH), the Colorado Governor's Energy Office (GEO), Colorado Code Consulting, LLC (CCC), the International Code Council (ICC) and Energylogic. The purpose of the ECSP is to provide specific, on-site technical assistance to Colorado local jurisdictions concerning adoption, enforcement and compliance with the 2009 IECC. As of May 2011, the results of the partnership include the adoption of the 2009 IECC by local jurisdictions representing approximately thirty (30) percent of the construction market in the State. Current information on the Partnership can be found at www.colorado.gov/energycodes.