Home >Articles >International Code Council Adopts Pathway to Net Zero Energy Homes by 2030

International Code Council Adopts Pathway to Net Zero Energy Homes by 2030

Apr 12, 2021


Over the past year, the International Code Council has collected and assessed feedback from its members, stakeholders, and the public to develop a new framework for promoting energy efficiency. This new framework is embodied in its publication “Leading the Way to Energy Efficiency – A Path Forward on Energy and Sustainability to Confront a Changing Climate.”

This framework outlines a pathway for the Code Council to help communities reach their energy efficiency and resiliency goals. The Code Council will build on the International Codes family – the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), International Residential Code (IRC), and International Green Construction Code (IgCC) – to provide additional building safety resources for communities and their leaders. 

The IECC establishes a minimum set of energy requirements and serves as the foundation for state and local building energy codes throughout the U.S. The scope and intent of the forthcoming 2024 IECC and editions moving forward will be updated to reflect the following commitments:

• The IECC will include pathways leading to the achievement of zero energy buildings by 2030.
• The code will continue to be updated on a three-year cycle and each edition will increase efficiency over the prior edition.
• The code may include non-mandatory appendices incorporating energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction resources including for electric vehicle charging, electrification, and embodied carbon.

The Code Council’s Chief Executive Officer Dominic Sims commented, “Moving forward, the development process for the IECC will use the Code Council’s Consensus Procedures. This will allow for more in-depth scientific and economic deliberations, quicker progress to meeting public and private sector goals, and the development of a broader consensus that will support wider application and adoption.

The Code Council has a long and respected history in administering a standards development process and is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as a standards developing organization (SDO) that adheres to ANSI’s Essential Requirements for openness, balance, consensus, and due process.”

The IECC Development Committees (Residential and Commercial) will be appointed by the Code Council’s Board of Directors and will represent a variety of perspectives and building science expertise. The ICC’s Board consists of 18 government code officials. The IECC Committees will include representatives from nine interest categories, including diverse representation within those categories. 

The development committees will be informed by insight from a newly established Energy and Carbon Advisory Council made up of public and private sector leaders.

Recognizing the important role of governments in the adoption and use of the IECC, the Code Council states that “the framework ensures that government officials continue to have a leading voice.” One-third of committee membership and the voting committee chairs will represent the government regulatory category. 

Committee membership will be determined through an open nominations process with no seats reserved for organizations. Committee membership will represent a diversity of climate zones, organization sizes, businesses, and jurisdictions, and a range of experience in building types and energy efficiency strategies.

With the importance of the new code development committees, RESNET is advocating to the Code Council the appointment of members of the HERS® Industry. HERS® Raters are well qualified to serve. They are well-grounded in building science, practical experience in verification of energy codes, and do not have a vested interest in any building product.

RESNET Executive Director Steve Baden commented, “The recent decision of ICC to pursue a consensus standard development process for future editions of the IECC provides the HERS® industry a great opportunity to be engaged and participate in shaping future editions of the IECC. RESNET welcomes the opportunity to work with ICC and other participants to ensure future editions of the IECC are developed using a consensus-based process that is fair, open, transparent, and based upon science. RESNET also looks forward to suggesting members of the HERS® industry to serve as volunteers on various committees that will be formed. Based on the solid foundation HERS® Raters have in the building sciences and model energy codes, HERS® Raters have much to contribute to ensuring the IECC continues to be the premiere model energy code internationally.”

To download the ICC pathway, visit www.iccsafe.org/energy.

Applications for the IECC Development Committees are due by Friday, April 23, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. PT. Learn more here.