1999 is a pivotal year for residential energy codes in the United States. The International Code Council, which develops model codes for states and localities to adopt, is trying to resolve a conflict between its energy code and a new residential code. The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) is used as a model by dozens of states, but the new International Residential Code (IRC) has its own energy standards which are weaker than the IECC. If states start using the IRC, new homes will be less energy efficient.
A contentious set of hearings are set for March and September. In general, energy codes are too weak. If you’d like to get involved, contact the Alliance to Save Energy.
David Eisenberg, at the Development Center for Appropriate Technology is also working on greening building codes: DCAT@azstarnet.com