Publications

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Document type: Reports and Studies
Publication Date: April 2015
Page Focus: Adoption

This paper:

  • Briefly describes the role of state and local governments with respect to building energy codes;
  • Provides examples of effective state and local efforts;
  • Estimates potential savings through 2030 from building energy codes for a few example states with high potential;
  • Gives a basic methodology for calculating savings and offers suggestions for how states can make progress in reducing energy use and costs through building energy codes;
  • Highlights efforts the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is undertaking to improve the ability of states to effectively implement building energy codes as well as to estimate and measure the benefits from these codes; and
  • Provides a listing of available tools and resources for state and local governments to derive the greatest benefit from building energy codes.

 

Document type: Reports and Studies
Publication Date: May 2011
Page Focus: Code Development

This report documents the progress indicator (PI) process and analysis that Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) developed to evaluate the potential energy savings from the application of ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2010 to building design and construction compared to the application of ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2004. The report describes PNNL’s EnergyPlus simulation framework, and the building prototype simulation models. The combined upgrades from ASHRAE Standard 90.1 -2004 to ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2010 are described, and consist of a total of 153 approved addenda (44 addenda to ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007 and 109 addenda to ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2010). PNNL reviewed and considered all 153 addenda for quantitative analysis in the PI process. Fifty-three of those addenda are included in the quantitative analysis. This report provides information on the categorization of all of the addenda, a summary of the content, and a more in-depth explanation of the impact and modeling of the 53...

Document type: Reports and Studies
Publication Date: January 2017
Page Focus: Residential

A research project in the state of Alabama identified opportunities to reduce homeowner utility bills in residential single-family new construction by increasing compliance with the state energy code. The study was initiated in March 2014, and continued through May 2014. During this period, research teams visited 134 homes during various stages of construction, resulting in a substantial data set based on observations made directly in the field. Analysis of the data has led to a better understanding of the energy features present in homes, and indicates nearly $1.3 million in potential savings to Alabama homeowners that could result from increased code compliance. Public and private entities within the state can use this information to justify and catalyze future investments in energy code training and related energy efficiency programs.

Document type: Reports and Studies
Publication Date: December 2012
Page Focus: Adoption

The purpose of this study is to quantify the energy code adoption rate by local jurisdictions from a sample set of 21 states. Some of the states within this sample have statewide energy codes, while others do not. Using construction starts and weighting results by localities that have or have not adopted energy codes, the findings can suggest a means of identifying which states have “effectively” adopted state-wide codes through local adoption and enforcement.

Document type: Reports and Studies
Publication Date: May 2010
Page Focus: Adoption

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has established ambitious goals to improve the energy efficiency requirements of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for residential buildings. DOE has established near- and long-term goals of 30% and 50% energy efficiency improvements, respectively, compared to the 2006 IECC.

This report presents DOE’s approach to calculating residential energy consumption for the purpose of estimating energy savings attributable to improvements in the code. This approach is then used to estimate the national average energy savings, relative to the 2006 IECC, resulting from the proposed improvements DOE submitted and supported for the 2012 IECC. DOE estimates a total reduction in energy use of 30.6% for the projected requirements of the 2012 IECC as compared to the 2006 IECC, assuming the use of the primary compliance option that involves standard-efficiency equipment. Were the high-equipment efficiency option used, the projected savings...

Document type: Reports and Studies
Publication Date: June 2017
Page Focus: Compliance, Residential

A research project in the State of Arkansas identified opportunities to reduce homeowner utility bills in residential single-family new construction by increasing compliance with the state energy code. The study was initiated in May 2015 and continued through October 2015. During this period, research teams visited 226 homes during various stages of construction, resulting in a substantial data set based on observations made directly in the field. Analysis of the data has led to a better understanding of the energy features present in homes, and indicates over $300,000 in potential annual savings to Arkansas homeowners that could result from increased code compliance.

Document type: Reports and Studies
Publication Date: July 2008
Page Focus: Adoption, Compliance

This report described the results of a two-year Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance study intended to improve understanding of the new commercial building stock in the Pacific Northwest region. It provided a new regional baseline for practices in commercial buildings constructed between 2002 and 2004 and compared those practices with previous baseline and code compliance studies conducted from 1996 to 1998. The study also looked at changes in design professionals' attitudes toward energy efficiency across the same periods.

Document type: Reports and Studies
Publication Date: August 2007
Page Focus: Compliance, Enforcement

A study funded by the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association to identify "the best practices in energy code support, compliance, and enforcement, and...[to promote and replicate] those best practices in other municipalities across Arizona."

Document type: Reports and Studies
Publication Date: March 2014
Page Focus: Program

Commercial and residential buildings account for approximately 41% of all energy consumption and 72% of electricity usage in the United States. Building energy codes and standards set minimum requirements for energy-efficient design and construction for new and renovated buildings, assuring reductions in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions over the life of buildings. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), through the Building Energy Codes Program (BECP or the Program), supports the improvement of energy efficiency in buildings.

BECP periodically assesses the impacts of its activities by estimating historical and projected energy savings, consumer savings, and avoided emissions. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) conducted the codes benefits assessment in support of the BECP. Underlying the assessment is a series of calculations that estimate and compare energy savings under two scenarios: "with BECP" and "without BECP." The analysis covers the years 1992-2040...

Document type: Reports and Studies
Publication Date: September 2011
Page Focus: Adoption, Compliance

Conformity assessment is a term used to describe the processes followed to demonstrate that a product, service, management system, or body meets specified requirements, such as standards, codes, laws, regulations, or other criteria. With respect to energy codes, conformity assessment includes all activities and tasks undertaken by any number of entities to ensure that the provisions of an adopted energy code are achieved at a designated point in time. This report identifies and discusses conformity assessment activities and provides guidance for developing new or adjusting existing ways of verifying compliance. In addition, this report looks at different ways to ensure that the energy efficiency goals of an adopted code or standard are achieved.

Document type: Reports and Studies
Publication Date: May 2013
Page Focus: Adoption

The purpose of this analysis is to examine the cost-effectiveness of the 2010 edition of ANSI/ASHRAE/IES1 Standard 90.1. Standard 90.1 is the model energy standard for commercial and multi-family residential buildings over three floors (ECPA, Public Law 94-385). PNNL analyzed the cost-effectiveness of changes in Standard 90.1 from 90.1-2007 to 90.1-2010, as applied in the United States. During the development of new editions of Standard 90.1, the cost-effectiveness of individual changes (addenda) is often calculated to support the deliberations of Standard Standing Project Committee (SSPC) 90.1. The process does not include analysis of the cost-effectiveness of the entire package of addenda from one version of the standard to the next. Providing States with an analysis of cost-effectiveness may encourage more rapid adoption of newer editions of energy codes based on Standard 90.1. This information may also inform the development of future editions of Standard 90.1.

Document type: Reports and Studies
Publication Date: December 2014
Page Focus: Adoption

This report and an accompanying spreadsheet compile the end use building simulation results for prototype buildings throughout the United States. The results represent the energy use of each edition of ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings.

Document type: Reports and Studies
Publication Date: September 2012
Page Focus: Code Development

The purpose of this analysis is to assess the relative energy and energy cost performance of commercial buildings designed to meet the requirements found in the commercial energy efficiency provisions of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Section 304(b) of the Energy Conservation and Production Act (ECPA), as amended, requires the Secretary of Energy to make a determination each time a revised version of ASHRAE Standard 90.1 is published with respect to whether the revised standard would improve energy efficiency in commercial buildings. As many states have historically adopted the IECC for both residential and commercial buildings, PNNL has evaluated the impacts of the commercial provisions of the 2006, 2009, and 2012 editions of the IECC. PNNL also compared energy performance with corresponding editions of ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1 to help states and local jurisdictions make informed decisions regarding model code adoption.

Document type: Reports and Studies
Publication Date: July 2017
Page Focus: Compliance, Residential

A research project in the State of Georgia identified opportunities to reduce homeowner utility bills in residential single-family new construction by increasing compliance with the state energy code. The study was initiated in April 2015 and continued through November 2015. During this period, research teams visited 216 homes during various stages of construction, resulting in a substantial data set based on observations made directly in the field. Analysis of the data has led to a better understanding of the energy features present in homes, and indicates over $3 million in potential annual savings to Georgia homeowners that could result from increased code compliance.

Document type: Reports and Studies
Publication Date: May 2014
Page Focus: Adoption, Code Development, Compliance, Residential

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory analyzed the relationship between the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index and the traditional simulation-based Performance Path used in the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). The analysis evaluates, for a single-family residence with various characteristics, the ranges of HERS Index values that would imply compliance with the 2012 IECC Performance Path. Several building characteristics considered likely to result in quantifiable differences in the outcomes of the two approaches, or otherwise believed to be of interest to code developers and policy makers, are considered in the analysis.

Document type: Analysis, Reports and Studies
Publication Date: March 2017
Page Focus: Adoption, Compliance

This study used a three-step process to evaluate the degree to which high-impact controls requirements included in commercial energy codes are realizing their savings potential. The three-step process included: (1) interviews of commissioning agents; (2) field audits of a sample of commercial buildings to determine how well control measures are being designed, commissioned and correctly implemented; and (3) analysis of the information gathered.

Document type: Reports and Studies
Publication Date: August 2017
Page Focus: Compliance, Residential

A research project in the Commonwealth of Kentucky identified opportunities to reduce homeowner utility bills in residential single-family new construction by increasing compliance with the state energy code. The study was initiated in April 2015 and continued through August 2015. During this period, research teams visited 140 homes during various stages of construction, resulting in a substantial data set based on observations made directly in the field. Analysis of the data has led to a better understanding of the energy features present in homes, and indicates over $1,200,000 in potential annual savings to Kentucky homeowners that could result from increased code compliance.

Document type: Reports and Studies
Publication Date: September 2016
Page Focus: Residential

A research project in the state of Maryland investigated energy code-related aspects of residential single-family new construction. The study was initiated in January 2015 and continued through July 2015. During this period, research teams visited 207 homes during various stages of construction, resulting in a substantial data set based on observations made directly in the field. Analysis of the data has led to a better understanding of the energy features present in homes, and indicates over $1.5 million in potential savings to Maryland homeowners that could result from increased code compliance. Public and private entities within the state can use this information to justify and catalyze future investments in energy code training and related energy efficiency programs.

Document type: Reports and Studies
Publication Date: August 2015
Page Focus: Code Development, Residential

This document lays out the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) methodology for evaluating the cost-effectiveness of energy code and standard proposals and editions. The evaluation is applied to new provisions or editions of ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1 and the International Energy Conservation Code. The methodology follows standard life-cycle cost (LCC) economic analysis procedures. Cost-effectiveness evaluation requires three steps: 1) evaluating the energy and energy cost savings of code changes, 2) evaluating the incremental and replacement costs related to the changes, and 3) determining the cost-effectiveness of energy code changes based on those costs and savings over time.

This document was originally published in January, 2015. Revision 1 was published in August, 2015, and is available at: commercial_methodology.pdf.

Document type: Reports and Studies
Publication Date: April 2012
Page Focus: Code Development

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Building Energy Codes Program has developed and established a methodology for evaluating the energy and economic performance of residential energy codes. This methodology serves two primary purposes. First, as DOE participates in the consensus processes of the International Code Council, the methodology described herein will be used by DOE to ensure that its proposals are both energy efficient and cost effective. Second, when a new version of the International Energy Conservation Code is published, DOE will evaluate the new code as a whole to establish expected energy savings and cost effectiveness, which will help states and local jurisdictions interested in adopting the new codes. DOE's measure of cost-effectiveness balances longer-term energy savings against additions to initial costs through a life-cycle cost perspective.

2015 Revision to this document was posted August 12, 2015. This document is an update to the U...

Document type: Reports and Studies
Publication Date:
Page Focus: Code Development

More than 200,000 homes are factory built in the United States each year to the federally preemptive Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards, mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This paper analyzes national energy use and savings potential from improvements to thermal distribution system efficiency, thermal envelopes, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment over what is currently required by HUD code. Estimated energy savings over current HUD code are provided for four cases: National Fire Protection Association Standard 501-2005, the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR manufactured housing guidelines , and Best Practice, based on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building America Industrialized Housing Partnership program home built in the Pacific Northwest. Savings estimates are also provided from improved HVAC system efficiencies, such as using...

Document type: Reports and Studies
Publication Date: August 2017
Page Focus: Compliance, Residential

A research project in the State of North Carolina identified opportunities to reduce homeowner utility bills in residential single-family new construction by increasing compliance with the state energy code. The study was initiated in January 2015 and continued through September 2015. During this period, research teams visited 249 homes during various stages of construction, resulting in a substantial data set based on observations made directly in the field. Analysis of the data has led to a better understanding of the energy features present in homes, and indicates over $1.5 million in potential annual savings to North Carolina homeowners that could result from increased code compliance.

Document type: Reports and Studies
Publication Date: May 2017
Page Focus: Residential

A research project in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania identified opportunities to reduce homeowner utility bills in residential single-family new construction by increasing compliance with the state energy code. The study was initiated in October 2014 and continued through July 2015. During this period, research teams visited 171 homes during various stages of construction, resulting in a substantial data set based on observations made directly in the field. Analysis of the data has led to a better understanding of the energy features present in homes, and indicates over $2.7 million in potential annual savings to Pennsylvania homeowners that could result from increased compliance with the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (and equivalent compliance options). Public and private entities within the state can use this information to justify and catalyze future investments in energy code training and related energy efficiency programs.

Document type: Reports and Studies, State-specific
Publication Date: November 2013
Page Focus: Adoption

House Bill 202, which was passed during the 2013 Legislative Session, adopted a hybrid version of the 2006, 2009 and 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) in Utah (“Utah 2012”) for residential buildings and the complete 2012 IECC for commercial buildings. The Utah 2012 and IECC 2012 commercial provisions take effect after the Uniform Building Code Commission certifies in writing to the Utah Legislature that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has adopted a version of REScheck software that can be used to verify compliance with the provisions in H.B. 202.

Document type: Analysis, Reports and Studies
Publication Date: April 2012
Page Focus: Code Development

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) conducted a series of cost effectiveness analyses for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), covering the 2009 and 2012 editions of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for new single and multifamily homes. The evaluations were performed against a 2006 IECC baseline, taking state-specific code amendments into consideration. These reports outline the results of these analyses, including a National Cost Analysis and Cost Analyses for selected states.

Document type: Reports and Studies
Publication Date: January 2015
Page Focus: Adoption

The purpose of this analysis is to examine the cost-effectiveness of the 2013 edition of ANSI/ASHRAE/IES1 Standard 90.1 (ANSI/ASHRAE/IES 2013). PNNL analyzed the cost-effectiveness of changes in Standard 90.1 from 90.1-2010 to 90.1-2013, as applied in commercial buildings across the United States. During the development of new editions of Standard 90.1, the cost-effectiveness of individual changes (addenda) is often calculated to support the deliberations of ASHRAE Standard Standing Project Committee (SSPC) 90.1. The ASHRAE process, however, does not include analysis of the cost-effectiveness of the entire package of addenda from one edition of the standard to the next, which is of particular interest to adopting State and local governments. Providing States with an analysis of cost-effectiveness may encourage more rapid adoption of newer editions of energy codes based on Standard 90.1. This information may also inform the development of future editions of Standard 90.1.

Document type: Reports and Studies
Publication Date: April 2017
Page Focus: Residential

A research project in the state of Texas identified opportunities to reduce homeowner utility bills in residential single-family new construction by increasing compliance with the state energy code. The study was initiated in October 2014; data collection began in March 2015, and continued through October 2015. During this period, research teams visited 133 homes in 30 counties in and around Houston during various stages of construction, resulting in a substantial data set based on observations made directly in the field. Stakeholders in the state agreed that these 30 counties represented the levels of energy codes and enforcement seen across the state. Analysis of the data has led to a better understanding of the energy features present in homes, and, when extrapolated across the entire state, indicates over $16 million in potential annual savings to Texas homeowners that could result from increased code compliance. Public and private entities within the state can use this...