Pennsylvania

Last updated on 2014-01-17

Current Code2009 IECC
Amendments / Additional State Code InformationPennsylvania's current code is the 2009 IECC with reference to ASHRAE 90.1-2007.

Approved Compliance ToolsCan use COMcheck
State Specific Research Impacts of ASHRAE 90.1-2007 for Commercial Buildings in the State of Pennsylvania (BECP Report, Sept. 2009)
Approximate Energy EfficiencyEquivalent to 2009 IECC
Effective Date12/31/2009
Adoption Date12/10/2009
Code EnforcementMandatory
DOE DeterminationASHRAE 90.1-2007: Yes
ASHRAE 90.1-2010: No

Energy cost savings for Pennsylvania 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 $300 million annually by 2030.

Pennsylvania DOE Determination Letter, May 31, 2013

Pennsylvania State Certification of Commercial and Residential Building Energy Codes
Current Code2009 IECC
Amendments / Additional State Code InformationPennsylvania's current residential code is the 2009 IECC, 2009 IRC, Chapter 11, and/or PA-Alt. Adherence to Pennsylvania's Alternative Residential Energy Provisions 2009 is an acceptable means of demonstrating compliance with the energy conservation code requirements of the Uniform Construction Code.

PA-ALT
Approved Compliance ToolsCan use REScheck

State Specific Research Impacts of the 2009 IECC for Residential Buildings in the State of Pennsylvania (BECP Report, Sept. 2009)
Approximate Energy EfficiencyEquivalent to 2009 IRC
Effective Date12/31/2009
Adoption Date12/11/2009
Code EnforcementMandatory
DOE Determination2009 IECC: Yes
2012 IECC: No

Energy cost savings for Pennsylvania 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 $300 million annually by 2030.

Pennsylvania DOE Determination Letter, May 31, 2013

Pennsylvania State Certification of Commercial and Residential Building Energy Codes
Code Change ProcessRegulatory
Code Change CycleAutomatic Adoption
Timeline of CycleEvery 3 years

State Owned / Funded Buildings

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry is responsible for enforcement of energy code requirements (and all other building code requirements) in all State-owned buildings, no matter where they are located. State-funded buildings that are not owned by the State are approved for energy compliance by all municipalities that have elected to administer and enforce the Uniform Construction Code (UCC) or, where municipalities have elected not to enforce the UCC, by the Department (commercial construction) and certified third-party agencies (residential construction) hired by the residential property owner.

Adoption Process

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) has the authority and responsibility to promulgate and upgrade commercial and residential energy standards, respectively, every three years, through the state's regulatory process. The code modification process does not involve public meetings, if the regulatory changes proposed only entail the adoption of the latest versions of the ICC International Codes.

Enforcement Process

Municipalities are intended to be the primary enforcement agents of energy and other building code requirements, but they are allowed to opt out of this responsibility.

As of January 1, 2011, 2,396 (94.5%) municipalities have elected to administer and enforce the UCC (are "opt-ins") and 166 (5.5%) have elected not to administer and enforce the UCC (are "opt-outs").

Opt-in municipalities may enforce the UCC in a variety of ways. They may employ their own code officials. They may retain one or more third-party agencies to enforce the UCC on their behalf. They may utilize an inter-municipal agreement that allows multiple municipalities to provide code enforcement services through a single agency. And, they may contract with a neighboring municipality to utilize its code enforcement officers.

In opt-out municipalities, the Department of Labor & Industry performs all commercial code enforcement; certified third-party agencies hired by individual property owners perform residential code enforcement.

Compliance Process

In addition to the compliance paths in the 2009 IECC, REScheck and COMcheck are acceptable methods of compliance. For residential buildings, use of the prescriptive Alternative Residential Energy Provisions published by the Pennsylvania Housing Research Center is allowed.

Background

The Pennsylvania Construction Code Act (Act 45 of 1999) established a State building code, the Uniform Construction Code (UCC), that must be complied with in all Pennsylvania jurisdictions.

The PA UCC first took effect on April 9, 2004 with the adoption and use of the ICC's International Codes 2003.

Effective December 31, 2006, the International Codes 2006 were adopted and enforced throughout Pennsylvania.

Effective December 31, 2009, the International Codes 2009 were adopted and enforced throughout Pennsylvania.

Currently, the UCC allows builders the choice between a number of compliance paths for residential construction. Builders may choose the 2009 IECC, the 2009 IRC (Chapter 11) or the 2009 Pennsylvania Alternative Residential Energy Provisions (PA-Alt). The PA-Alt is intended to be easier to use, an alternative to the 2006 IRC, and equivalent to the 2009 IECC. Previous versions of the PA-Alt were published in 2003 and 2006.

The next code changes will occur by December 31, 2012 (when the 2012 versions of the International Codes are adopted by regulation).