Primary Contact for State Adoption
Secondary Contact for State Adoption
Housing Technology and Standards Section
1313 Sherman Street #320
Denver, CO 80203
Regional Energy Efficiency Organization
State Code Analysis
Model Code Savings Potential
|Statewide Savings Potential (2010-2030)||Residential||Commercial|
|Consumer Cost Savings||Residential
per 1,000 ft2
|Life-cycle (30 year)||$4491||$1430|
|Simple Payback||4.7 years||6.4 years|
|Positive Cash Flow||0.7 years|
|Code Cost-Effectiveness Analysis||2021 IECC, 2018 IECC, 2015 IECC||ASHRAE 90.1-2019, ASHRAE 90.1-2016, ASHRAE 90.1-2013|
|Energy Code Impacts||Energy Code Impacts, State Fact Sheet||Energy Code Impacts, State Fact Sheet|
|EIA State Energy Profile||EIA State Energy Profile||EIA State Energy Profile|
The Colorado legislature passed a law in 1978 requiring all jurisdictions that have adopted building codes to include energy efficiency requirements for both residential and commercial buildings. The energy requirement at that time was based on Chapter 53 of the 1979 Uniform Building Code (UBC) - a codified version of ASHRAE/IES Standard 90-1975. A sunset provision was included for commercial buildings requiring the legislature to specifically extend the provisions for those buildings. The legislature failed to act and the commercial requirements were terminated in 1980, except for jurisdicitions that had adopted this code prior to the termination. Since that time, no state-wide energy code has existed for buildings other than one- and two-family dwellings and multi-family residential buildings three stories or less in height, although local jurisdictions can and do adopt their own energy requirements. For example, the city of Fort Collins adopted a modified version of the 1995 MEC and ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-1989 effective July 1, 1996.
On May 3, 2007, the state legislature passed HB 07-1146, improving the energy performance of the state's new buildings as part of a comprehensive energy strategy that begins with energy efficiency and incorporates renewable energy technologies. HB 07-1146 calls for all Colorado jurisdictions that have a building code in place to adopt a minimum energy code standard of the 2003 IECC or 2006 IECC by July 1, 2008. Jurisdictions without building codes will be exempt.
The Colorado Energy Codes Support Partnership (ECSP) was established in 2010 and includes the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA/DOH), the Colorado Governor's Energy Office (GEO), Colorado Code Consulting, LLC (CCC), the International Code Council (ICC) and Energylogic. The purpose of the ECSP is to provide specific, on-site technical assistance to Colorado local jurisdictions concerning adoption, enforcement and compliance with the 2009 IECC. As of May 2011, the results of the partnership include the adoption of the 2009 IECC by local jurisdictions representing approximately thirty (30) percent of the construction market in the State. Current information on the Partnership can be found at www.colorado.gov/energycodes.
In 2019 the Colorado Legislature passed HB1260-19 that applies a new requirement for energy codes to jurisdictions in the state. When a jurisdiction updates any building code, they must adopt a newer energy code. This energy code can be any of the latest IECC’s released by the ICC. This bill creates an ongoing requirement for energy code adoptions. This bill became effective August 2, 2019.
Senate Bill 07-51 and Senate Bill 08-147 require that all projects funded with 25% or more of state funds conform with the High Performance Certification Program (HPCP) adopted by the Office of the State Architect if: the new facility, addition, or renovation project is greater than 5,000 square feet, includes an HVAC system, and in the case of a renovation project, the cost of the renovation exceeds 25% of the current value of the building. The HPCP requires that projects achieve the highest possible LEED certification with the goal being LEED Gold. More information on the HPCP policy, including summaries, FAQs and project forms can be found at the Office of the State Architect's website.
Voluntary adoption of energy codes is encouraged and efforts through DOLA/DOH, GEO and DOE are directed toward informing local jurisdictions of the benefits of energy efficiency standards and providing materials and training to support code implementation.
Energy codes are not enforced at the state level. Local enforcement agencies in jurisdictions that have adopted building codes are required to enforce the provisions of the residential energy code at the local level, but may adopt their own requirements without state approval. Inspections are required as a part of the established building inspection process. No special inspection requirements exist for state-owned and -funded buildings. These inspections are handled by the local enforcement agencies.
C.R.S. 30-28-201 requires the board of county commissioners of a county that has enacted a building code to adopt and enforce a building energy code that meets or exceeds the standards in the 2003 IECC pursuant to section 30-28-211.
The Colorado Compliance process is based on the use of the compliance and reporting tools developed by BECP.