Development of Energy Codes

Both the IECC and ASHRAE Standard 90.1 are maintained and updated in open public forums. The openness and transparency of these processes is critical to widespread acceptance of the resulting IECC and ASHRAE Standard 90.1. Stakeholders representing a cross section of interests are involved in maintaining these documents and include:

  • The design community, including architects, lighting designers, and mechanical and electrical engineers
  • The code enforcement community, including code officials, plan reviewers, and inspectors from state and local building regulatory agencies
  • Policy makers
  • Builders and contractors
  • Building owners and operators
  • Industry and manufacturers
  • Utilities
  • Energy advocacy groups
  • The academic community
  • Federal agency staff, including DOE.


The IECC is developed by the International Code Council (ICC) using a government consensus process. Anyone is eligible for service on the IECC residential or commercial committees, can submit proposed changes to the IECC, and can actively participate in public hearings and public comment processes from which a newer edition of the IECC is created. As a governmental consensus process, the final vote on all code changes is made by the governmental member representatives and honorary members.

The IECC is one of 15 codes developed by the ICC that represent a complete set of building construction regulations. ICC codes are updated every 3 years, providing a model code that jurisdictions can adopt as is or modify. Because the IECC is written in mandatory, enforceable language, state and local jurisdictions can easily adopt, implement, and enforce the IECC as their energy code.


ASHRAE Standard 90.1 is developed jointly by ASHRAE and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) using a consensus process that meets the requirements of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Anyone may participate in the process by submitting a continuous maintenance proposal, addressing the committee or its subcommittees during their deliberations, or submitting comments on proposed changes to the standard during the public review process. The final vote as to the acceptability of a change to ASHRAE Standard 90.1 is made by the committee responsible for updating and maintaining the standard. Revisions to the standard occur on an ongoing basis and are not approved without a favorable vote of the ASHRAE Standard 90.1 committee and confirmation of conformance with procedures by the ASHRAE Standards Committee. Publication of the standard occurs every 3 years.

Before adopting the IECC or ASHRAE Standard 90.1, state and local governments often make changes to reflect regional building practices or state-specific energy-efficiency goals.