On June 8, 2009, Governor Gibbons signed into law SB 395, containing a provision that requires the State Public Works Board to adopt standards and performance guidelines concerning the efficient use of water and energy for state-owned and operated buildings. Effective July 1, 2009, this provision amends Chapter 341 of NRS. The State Public Works Board may consider standards as set forth in LEED, Green Globes, Energy Star, ASHRAE, FEMP, and IECC.
Assembly Bill 3 (22nd Special Session) became law as NRS 701.220 which enforces adoption of regulations for energy conservation in buildings, exemptions, applicability and enforcement, as well as procedure for adoption of building energy codes. The state energy code must be updated to the most recent version every three years. Adoption of the state energy code is required by all local government entities authorized by law to adopt and enforce a building code. On June 15, 2007, Governor Gibbons signed Assembly Bill 621 into law. Among the provisions passed in the wide-reaching energy efficiency and renewable energy bill is an update making various changes relating to the application procedures for and provision of tax abatements and exemptions based upon the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System.
The city or county enforces the code except for state-owned and -funded buildings, which are regulated by the Nevada Public Works Board (NPWB). The NPWB generally requires the plans to be stamped by a registered engineer or architect to indicate compliance with the energy code requirements. Plans and specifications must be submitted when required by the provisions of the MEC. Field inspections are performed by the local jurisdiction during established construction inspections. Interpretations are the responsibility of the local jurisdiction.
The required envelope compliance pathways, plan submittal requirements, and requirements for engineer signatures are those contained in the 2006 IECC.
Nevada's first energy code, "Energy Conservation Standards for New Building Construction," was adopted on January 1, 1978. This code, based on ASHRAE Standard 90-75, was written by the state and formulated by the Nevada Department of Energy. All cities and counties were required to enforce the energy code requirements. The Nevada Department of Energy was disbanded in 1983. Between 1983 and 1986, the state did not support or enforce this energy code.
In 1985 the legislature gave the Nevada Office of Community Services authority to formulate new statewide standards for energy conservation in new buildings. Adopted on July 8, 1988, the "Regulations for the Conservation of Energy in New Building Construction" were formulated based on the 1986 MEC with minor state amendments. This code is applicable only in areas where the local jurisdiction had not previously adopted an energy code. This remains the basis for the statewide energy code. The Nevada Office of Community Services was dissolved in the fall of 1993. Currently, the state does not actively support or enforce this energy code.
In 1995 the Nevada State Energy Office sought authority to upgrade the state energy codes via legislation submitted to the state legislature, but the Senate Finance Committee effectively killed the bill by failing to act on it. The legislation would have adopted the 1992 MEC for all low-rise residential buildings and the codified version of the ANSI/ASHRAE/IES 90.1-1989 for all other buildings. The state is pursuing voluntary compliance strategies. The 1995 legislature imposed a two year moratorium on the adoption of new state regulations.
The Nevada State Energy Office is currently working to link the 1992, 1993, and 1995 editions of the MEC to a home energy rating system. Nevada's EPAct certification, extended one year, reflects the Nevada legislature's inaction.
On May 28, 2009, Gov. Jim Gibbons signed into law legislation (SB 73) that revises the process of updating the state's building energy codes by establishing the standards adopted by the Nevada State Office of Energy as the minimum standards for building energy efficiency and conservation. The law requires local governments to adopt the codes set by the Office of Energy and to enforce them (they are also allowed to adopt more energy efficient standards provided they give notice to the Office of Energy).
The law mandates the adoption of the most recent version of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and requires the adoption of the most recent updated version of the IECC every three years. The Office of Energy must still hold public hearings in three different locations in the state after giving 30 days notice of such hearings before adopting any new standards.