Energy Code Field Studies

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program is conducting a series of research studies investigating energy code implementation in residential and commercial buildings. The goal of the study is to help document baseline practices, target areas for improvement, and quantify related savings potential. This information is intended to assist states in measuring energy code compliance and to identify areas of focus for future education & training initiatives.

Single-family Residential Buildings

Objective: Determine whether an investment in energy code education & training programs can produce a significant, measurable change in residential energy savings.

The study is comprised of three phases:

  1. Pre-Study: A baseline study to identify the energy use in typical single-family residential buildings in a given state and opportunities for improving energy efficiency
  2. Education & Training: Education, training & outreach activities targeting issues identified through the baseline study
  3. Post-Study: A second study to identify the change in energy use following the education & training activities

Through the project, DOE plans to establish a sufficient data set to represent statewide construction trends and detect significant changes in energy use resulting from education & training activities.

Participating States

The following states were selected to participate in the study (original DOE funding opportunity announcement):

Alabama Institute for Market Transformation (IMT)
Arkansas Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA)
Georgia Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA)
Kentucky Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA)
Maryland Maryland Energy Administration (MEA)
North Carolina Appalachian State University
Pennsylvania Performance Systems Development
Texas National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO)

Several additional states have also initiated their own studies based on the DOE Methodology:


Highlights from the updated methodology:

  • Results to be based on an energy metric and reported at the state-level
  • Focuses on individual code requirements within new single-family homes
  • Data confidentiality built into the experiment—no personal data will be shared
  • Designed around a single site-visit prioritizing key items
  • Designed with statistically significant results in mind

More information on the field study methodology and supporting research instruments is available below. Technical assistance is available from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), including guidance on the established methodology, customization of sampling plans, and technical analysis of the resulting data set.  


Individual state findings:

The aggregated data set across all field study states: Phase I Field Study Data and Phase III Field Study Data

Additional data from states using the field study methodology: Additional States Public Data

Project Team Resources

Data Collection Instrument


Multifamily Residential Energy Code Field Study

Objective: Measure the impact of energy codes on multifamily buildings and identify opportunities for savings through increased compliance.


  • Identify and resolve challenges that are unique to multifamily construction
  • Update and tailor the residential methodology to accommodate multifamily buildings
  • Construct a representative data set across four target states {WA, OR, MN & IL}
  • Provide recommendations as to how multifamily buildings can be better represented through energy code training and other compliance-improvement programs

Impact: Compliance with building energy codes is key to ensuring intended savings to U.S. home and business owners. This project will develop an approach to accurately and affordably assess energy code compliance in multifamily buildings, as well as the savings available through increased compliance. This information is vital to utilities and others supporting compliance-improvement programs, providing the certainty they need to invest in increased efficiency through building code compliance. By developing the business case for energy efficiency, state and local governments will have additional tools to allocate their limited resources more wisely and effectively, thereby reducing energy bills and energy-related pollution. Learn more.


, Project Manager
U.S. Department of Energy

Additional Information

Learn more about additional projects supported by the DOE Building Technologies Office.

Previous versions of DOE compliance evaluation resources are also archived.