Residential Code Change Proposals for the 2015 IECC

This page provides archival documentation relative to DOE participation in the 2015 IECC. For official results, visit the ICC web site.

DOE Proposals for the IECC

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) supports the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) by participating in the code development process administered by the International Code Council (ICC). As a participant in this process, DOE considers and evaluates concepts to be submitted as proposed changes to the IECC ("code").

DOE participates in the IECC development process by:

  1. Developing code change proposals for submission to the ICC
  2. Gathering public input on DOE code change proposals from interested parties prior to submitting to the ICC
  3. Conducting necessary technical analyses to document the validity of DOE code change proposals
  4. Participating in the ICC code development hearings

A Notice is published in the Federal Register further outlining DOE participation in the ICC code development process. Interested stakeholders may also choose to receive updates on DOE code development activities.

DOE Proposal Development

DOE seeks to advance energy efficiency in the IECC by strengthening the code where cost-effective, and improving the criteria to be more easily understood, applied, implemented and enforced. Prior to submitting proposed code changes ("proposals") to the ICC, DOE publishes draft proposals that it has developed, along with documentation of concepts, for public review and comment. DOE will not provide responses to individual comments, but will consider any and all comments timely submitted in developing final proposals. DOE draft proposals, along with additional concepts still under consideration, are further developed based on stakeholder feedback received. Final proposals are posted for public viewing prior to submitting to the ICC.

Submitting Comments on DOE Proposals

In the current code cycle, the ICC will be considering revisions to the 2012 IECC which will result in the 2015 IECC. In order to allow adequate time to incorporate feedback prior to the ICC submission deadline, interested parties are asked to submit any and all comments on DOE initial concepts, draft code change proposals, and public comments by the deadlines specified below.  Early feedback is appreciated in order to maximize the opportunity for revisions and enhancements.


  • Feedback on DOE concepts and draft proposals due October 19, 2012
  • DOE code change proposals posted for public viewing early December, 2012
  • ICC deadline for submission of proposals for the 2015 IECC is January 3, 2013
  • Feedback on draft DOE public comments due June 28, 2013
  • DOE public comments posted for public viewing mid-July, 2013
  • ICC deadline for submission of public comments for the 2015 IECC is July 15, 2013


Comments on DOE proposals for the 2015 IECC and IEBC can be submitted by email to

All submissions received must include the agency name (U.S. DOE), docket number (EERE-2012-BT-BC-0030), and any/all applicable DOE concept numbers or ICC reference numbers (see table below) in the subject line of the message.  

DOE Technical Analysis

In developing proposals for submission to the ICC, DOE conducts a series of analyses to evaluate energy savings and economic impacts of its potential revisions, as applicable. However, many proposals submitted to the ICC do not require analysis as they represent minor corrections or alignments between the code language itself, or referenced standards, changes to the format of the code, or have no cost impact. Where appropriate, DOE conducts life cycle cost analysis for IECC proposals as described in Residential Energy and Cost Analysis Methodology. DOE is not able to provide technical assistance at the request of outside parties, but reserves the right to conduct analysis in support of proposals DOE is considering for submission to the ICC. While DOE cannot enter into joint proposals (outside of proposals submitted jointly with another federal agency), DOE supports efficiency proposals from the perspective of its own analysis.

DOE references all analysis and supporting documentation as required by the ICC. Analysis performed by DOE or its contractors for the purpose of developing proposals should be considered on a technical basis, and does not represent an endorsement of any particular individual or organization. DOE also publishes the results of its analysis, along with supporting energy simulation models, for review and use by outside parties. Any interested party wishing to review or build-upon the DOE analysis can access it via Development.

DOE Participation in the ICC Code Development Hearings

At ICC hearings, DOE communicates its opinion on proposals as follows: DOE will defend its proposals. To the extent that DOE has prepared a technical analysis of a proposal other than a DOE proposal, consistent with the discussion above, DOE may present the results of the analysis. Again, presentation of technical reviews does not constitute an endorsement of any proposal. DOE may also recognize a proposal to the extent that the proposal or provisions within the proposal are the same as a DOE proposal or provisions within a DOE proposal. DOE may alter its proposal based on information it obtains at the code hearings and may publish amendments to its proposals for public review and comment at: Development. Final amendments to DOE proposals are posted at the same web address for public viewing prior to submitting to the ICC.

Ex Parte Communications

DOE anticipates that it or its contractors may be contacted regarding code concepts, ideas or change proposals through phone, mail, or email. While DOE code change proposals to the IECC are not regulations, DOE will follow ex parte communication policy for such communications. Guidance on ex parte communications was published on January 21, 2009 (74 FR 4685). Note that such communications will be reflected in the public docket consistent with the ex parte guidance.

Residential Proposals for the 2015 IECC

To foster review, concepts are organized by type of change:

  • Proposals that increase energy efficiency (RA)
  • Proposals that extend flexibility and usability of the code (RB)

Commercial proposals DOE is considering for the 2015 IECC.

The final proposals linked from this page are as submitted to ICC. In some cases the proposals have been modified in the ICC process, and official proposals can be viewed at the ICC website. The order in which the proposals are presented should not be construed to represent any prioritization of the proposals.

Where a formal analysis is not required, notes rather than a link are provided in the analysis column. Draft and final proposals, as well as supporting analysis files, are added as they become available.

Draft and final proposals are available to view/download as separate individual files from the tables below, or as a complete package:

Proposals that increase energy efficiency (RA)
DOE # (ICC) Identifier Concept Name, (Code Section), Description Draft Proposal Final Proposal Supporting Analysis Draft Public Comments Final Public Comments
RA-1 Fenestration U-factor and SHGC.
U-0.40 to 0.35 (CZ 2), U-0.32 to 0.20 (CZ 4-8); SHGC-0.25 to 0.2 or 0.15 (CZ 1-3). The lower SHGC would not apply if the orientation is advantageous or appropriate shading devices in place.
RA-1 Draft Proposal None N/A N/A N/A
Roof/ceiling resistance to heat gain (R402.2).
Require either radiant barrier or cool roof in the hottest climate zones.
RA-2 Draft Proposal RA-2 Final Proposal Discussed in proposal RE64 Draft Comment RE64 Public Comment
RA-3 Heat recovery ventilation (R403.5).
Require heat recovery in colder climate zones when mechanical ventilation is required.
RA-3 Draft Proposal None N/A N/A N/A
RA-4 Domestic water heating (R403.4).
Require a desuperheater, tankless water heater, heat pump water heater, solar water heater, or improved energy factor on a standard water heater.
RA-4 Draft Proposal None N/A N/A N/A
RA-5 Lighting Controls (R404.1).
Require occupancy sensors or other automatic controls for lighting in selected areas of the home (closets, bathrooms, garages, outdoor lighting, etc.).
RA-5 Draft Proposal None N/A N/A N/A

Proposals that extend the flexibility and usability of the code (RB)
DOE # (ICC) Identifier Concept Name, (Code Section), Description Draft Proposal Final Proposal Draft Public Comments Final Public Comments
RB-1 Direct performance compliance path.
This would be a pure performance metric not referenced to any prescriptive baseline (an energy use intensity [EUI], a HERS rating, etc). Could replace the existing prescriptive and performance paths or be an alternative compliance path.
None N/A N/A N/A
RB-2 Restoration of equipment tradeoffs (R405, R402).
To foster the use of systems-design concepts and whole-house analysis tools and in light of recently increased Federal minimum equipment efficiencies, restore the ability to do equipment efficiency trade-offs to the code in such a manner as to increase flexibility in compliance without compromising overall efficiency.
Correct thermal distribution system specifications in performance-path [Table R405.5.2(1)].
Add standard reference design specification for thermal distribution systems.
RB-3 Draft Proposal RB-3 Final Proposal None N/A
(CE61, Parts I&II)
Addition of Broomfield County, Colorado, to county/zone list (Table R301.1).
Supply missing county.
RB-4 Draft Proposal RB-4 Final Proposal None N/A
Elimination of ambiguity in ¾-in hot water pipe insulation requirements (R403.4.2, Table R403.4.2).
Modify code text to match 5-foot lower limit of Table R403.4.2.
RB-5 Draft Proposal RB-5 Final Proposal RE133 Draft Comment RE133 Public Comment
RB-6 Correction of section reference in Heating Systems row of performance path [Table R405.5.2(1)].
Change "R403 of the IECC–Commercial Provisions" to "C403…".
RB-6 Draft Proposal RB-6 Final Proposal None N/A
Clarification of footnote “h” (Table R402.1.1).
Clarify its meaning and applicability, possibly by eliminating the footnote in favor of a more detailed textual treatment in R402.2.
RB-7 Draft Proposal RB-7 Final Proposal None N/A
Addition of lighting specifications to performance path [Table R405.5.2(1)].
Clarify the applicability of mandatory lighting requirements to the performance path.
RB-8 Draft Proposal RB-8 Final Proposal RE12 Draft Comment RE12 Public Comment
Addition of sunroom specifications to performance path [Table R405.5.2(1)].
Reference R402.2.12 and R402.3.5 to clarify tradeoff allowances.
RB-9 Draft Proposal RB-9 Final Proposal RE171 Draft Comment RE171 Public Comment
Elimination of gap in ventilation requirements (IRC R303.4).
Clarify what is required when envelope leakage is exactly 5 ACH50.
RB-10 Draft Proposal RB-10 Final Proposal RB100 Draft Comment RB100 Public Comment
RB-11 For envelope and duct leakage testing, re-categorize maximum allowable leakage rates from mandatory to prescriptive (R402.4 and R403.2.2).
Allowing performance-path trade-offs for these would extend flexibility and mitigate risk associated with unexpected post-construction pressure test failures.
RB-11a Draft Proposal

RB-11b Draft Proposal

(CE38, Part 2)
Inspections (R104).
Improve/enhance details governing inspections of construction.
CB-3 Draft Proposal CB-3 Final Proposal CE38 Draft Comment CE38 Public Comment
(CE59, Part 2)
Application of Fenestration Provisions (R202).
Clarify application of thermal provisions (U-factor or SHGC) for fenestration materials or products installed at an angle greater than 0 up to and including 30 degrees from vertical.
CB-8 Draft Proposal CB-8 Final Proposal CE59 Draft Comment CE59 Public Comment
Proposal by others
For envelope leakage testing, re-categorize maximum allowable leakage rates from mandatory to prescriptive (R402.4).
Allowing performance-path trade-offs for these would extend flexibility and mitigate risk associated with unexpected post-construction pressure test failures.
N/A N/A RE72 Draft comment None