Arkansas

Current News: 
The Arkansas Energy Office, a division of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, has adopted the 2014 Arkansas Energy Code for New Building Construction, also known as the 2014 Arkansas Energy Code, which sets the minimum energy efficiency standard for new construction in Arkansas. For residential buildings, there is a set of amendments for the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). This code became effective on January 1, 2015.
Current Code:
2009 IECC
Amendments / Additional State Code Information:

N/A

Approved Compliance Tools: Can use COMcheck
Approximate Energy Efficiency: Equivalent to 2009 IECC
Effective Date:
Jan. 01, 2015
Code Enforcement:
Mandatory
DOE Determination: ASHRAE 90.1-2007: Yes
ASHRAE 90.1-2010: No
ASHRAE 90.1-2013: No

Energy cost savings for Arkansas 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 $100 million annually by 2030.

Arkansas DOE Determination Letter, May 31, 2013

Arkansas State Certification of Residential and Commercial Building Energy Codes


Current Code:
2009 IECC with Amendments
Amendments / Additional State Code Information:

Amendments include but not limited to:

- Revised the Climate Zone 4 values to match Climate Zone 3 prescriptive requirements 

- Removed 50% high efficacy lighting requirement completely

- Duct tightness can be field verified instead of tested as an option

- REScheck can be used to show compliance based on the UA Trade Off Approach to the 2009 IECC.



Arkansas Supplements and Amendments
Approved Compliance Tools: Can use REScheck
Approximate Energy Efficiency: Less energy efficient than 2009 IECC
Effective Date:
Jan. 01, 2015
Adoption Date:
Code Enforcement:
Mandatory
Jurisdictions:
DOE Determination: 2009 IECC: No
2012 IECC: No
2015 IECC: No

Energy cost savings for Arkansas 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 $100 million annually by 2030.

Arkansas DOE Determination Letter, May 31, 2013


Code Change Process:
Regulatory
Code Change Cycle:
None
Timeline of Cycle:
None

State Owned / Funded Buildings

On April 14, 2009, Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe signed Act No. 1494 into law. It promotes the conservation of energy and natural resources in buildings owned by the state or institutions of higher education. It establishes performance criteria and goals for sustainable and energy-efficient new and majorly renovated public buildings based on ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007. Buildings must be designed, constructed, and certified to at least 10% reduction below the baseline energy consumption determined by the performance rating method of Appendix G of ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007.

Adoption Process

State Level: A rule-making process is used to adopt new and change existing codes. When a proposed code change is initiated by the Arkansas Energy Office (AEO), it is first reviewed by the affected parties. They evaluate the proposed changes and work with the AEO to refine them to satisfy all parties, if possible. All changes are then submitted for public hearing. After approval at the public hearing, the proposed change is acted upon by the AEO and by two legislative committees before it is included in the next edition of the code.

Local Level: The local government may adopt and implement the code, which is usually achieved through a vote of the city council or county commission. Depending on the form of government, the mayor may be required to sign the law. Because compliance is based on self-certification by the builder, the builder must address compliance upon request when the local government has not adopted the code.

Enforcement Process

In jurisdictions that have adopted codes, units of local government enforce the codes through the established inspection process. Depending on the size of the local government, the same individual may be responsible for performing plan reviews and inspections. In jurisdictions that have not adopted codes, state enforcement staff or their agents use spot inspections and consumer notifications. Because the compliance system is based on self-certification by the builder and enforcement can depend on homeowner involvement, the AEO has spent considerable effort on education and communication.

Compliance Process

Proof and verification of compliance is required state-wide for all buildings and is demonstrated by the responsible party (e.g., builder) signing a self-certification seal. In jurisdictions that have adopted the energy code, a local inspection is required to verify compliance and the builder must sign the self-certification seal. The certification seal must be placed in the building for visible inspection. A state Board of Appeals (BOA) has been established in the regulations to resolve different interpretations of the standards. The code requires local jurisdictions that adopt the code to also establish a BOA. Compliance with the Arkansas Energy Code is determined by using the set of amended prescriptive requirements or by using REScheck with the code option of 2009 IECC.

Background

The first Arkansas Energy Code was enacted in 1979 and was based on the 1977 Model Code for Energy Conservation in New Building Construction (MCEC), which references ASHRAE/IES Standard 90-1975. Legislation was approved in January 1993, giving the AEO the authority to adopt new standards through a rule-making process. The AEO adopted a new code in October 1994, that became effective June 1, 1995. This code references ASHRAE Standard 90.1-1989 for commercial buildings and is based on the 1992 Model Energy Code (MEC) for residential buildings. The code was again editorially revised on May 3, 1995. This revision made no substantive changes to the energy code. The 2004 Arkansas Energy Code, based on the 2003 IECC, became effective October 1, 2004. For commercial structures, the 2004 code adopts ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2001, except for low rise buildings.

HB1663 Act 1494 was enacted in April 2009, to promote the conservation of energy and natural resources in buildings owned by public agencies and institutions of higher education. Energy use in all existing state buildings must be reduced by 20% of 2008 levels by 2014 and 30% by 2017. Public buildings must be certified to be 10% more efficient than ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007, as it existed on January 1, 2009.

2014 Arkansas Energy Code became effective January 1, 2015 to the 2009 IECC with amendments.