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Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

Printable Version
Building Energy Code   

Last DSIRE Review: 10/08/2014
Program Overview:
State: Minnesota
Incentive Type: Building Energy Code
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Residential
Residential Code:Chapter 1322 (based on the 2006 IRC) of the 2009 Minnesota State Building Code. Mandatory statewide, REScheck is not available
Commercial Code:Chapter 1323 (based on ASHRAE 90.1-2004) of the 2009 Minnesota State Building Code. Mandatory statewide, COMcheck is not yet available
Code Change Cycle:No set schedule. The 2009 Minnesota State Building Code became effective on June 1, 2009.
Web Site:

Much of the information presented in this summary is drawn from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program and the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP). For more detailed information about building energy codes, visit the DOE and BCAP web sites.

Authority for adopting the state energy codes was previously vested in the Energy Security Office of the Department of Commerce (originally the Department of Public Services). In 1999-2000, the state legislature transferred this authority to the Building Codes and Standards Division within the Department of Administration. Eventually, the Building Codes and Standards Division was transferred to the Department of Labor & Industry so that all regulations and activities regarding construction in the state were under one department.

After authority over energy codes was transferred to the Building Codes and Standards Division (within the Construction Codes and Licensing Division) in the Department of Labor & Industry, significant effort was made to transition the Minnesota building community from a purely state-developed code to one aligned more closely to the national model codes. In 2008, after seven and a half years, the state adopted new residential and commercial energy codes based on the 2006 IRC and ASHRAE 90.1-2004, respectively. Officials hope to streamline this process in the future and update the state codes more frequently.

On June 1, 2009, the 2009 Minnesota State Building Code became effective. The new residential energy code (Chapter 1322) has been simplified to the point that in virtually all cases a REScheck-like program is not needed to show code compliance. The code now simply requires minimum R-values and maximum U-factors for building components without regard to square footage of those elements. A REScheck for the new Minnesota code is not currently available. Other alternatives are listed in the code at Part 1322.1102.

COMcheck is not yet available for the new commercial energy code (Chapter 1323), but commercial building envelope and lighting compliance can be readily determined by available tools. The envelope requirements of the new commercial energy code are not difficult to determine from the two tables (one for northern and the other for southern Minnesota) in Part 1323.0550. The lighting requirements of the code are identical to ASHRAE 90.1-2004, with the exception of exterior building grounds and parking lot lighting (Part 1323.0944). To demonstrate lighting compliance, simply start COMcheck and select "Code: 90.1 (2004) Standard" for all but building grounds and parking lot lighting.

Click here for more information about the Minnesota State Building Energy Code.

  Don Sivigny
Department of Labor and Industry
Building Codes and Standards Division
443 Lafayette Road N.
St. Paul, MN 55101
Phone: (651) 297-3600
Phone 2: (651) 284-5874
Fax: (651) 297-1973
Web Site:
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Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

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