||Building Energy Code
|Eligible Efficiency Technologies:
||Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building
||Commercial, Residential, Low-Income Residential
|Residential Code:||2011 Vermont Residential Building Energy Standards (RBES), based on the 2009 IECC with state specific amendments, mandatory statewide; can use REScheck to show compliance. |
|Commercial Code:||2011 Vermont Guidelines for Energy Efficient Commercial Construction based on 2009 IECC with amendments to incorporate ASHRAE 90.1-2007 and state-specific amendments. |
|Code Change Cycle:||Both the residential and commercial code will be updated every three years. |
Act No. 47 (H.56)|
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 websites.
The 2011 Vermont Commercial Building Energy Standards took effect on January 3, 2012. The guidelines are based on the 2009 IECC, with amendments to incorporate ASHRAE 90.1-2007 with several strengthening amendments from the 2012 IECC. The new guidelines apply to all commercial construction, including alterations, renovations, repairs, and additions.
The Vermont Residential Building Energy Standards (RBES) apply to all new homes (and additions over 500 square feet) built after July 1, 1998. The Vermont Legislature enacted RBES into law in 1997 (21 V.S.A. § 266). The RBES were revised in 2004 and 2011. The most recent update took effect on October 1, 2011. See the updated Vermont Residential Energy Code Handbook for revisions.
In March 2008, Vermont enacted legislation (S.B. 209) requiring the DPS to update the state's RBES and Commercial Building Energy Standards (CBES) "promptly" after the issuance of updated standards for residential and commercial construction under the international energy conservation code (IECC). In addition, SB 209 established several statewide building efficiency goals:
- To improve substantially the energy fitness of at least 20% of the state’s housing stock by 2017 (more than 60,000 housing units), and 25% of the state’s housing stock by 2020 (approximately 80,000 housing units);
- To reduce annual fuel needs and fuel bills by an average of 25% in the housing units served;
- To reduce total fossil fuel consumption across all buildings by an additional 0.5% each year, leading to a total reduction of 6% annually by 2017 and 10% annually by 2025; and
- To save Vermont families and businesses a total of $1.5 billion on fuel bills over the lifetimes of the improvements and measures installed between 2008 and 2017.
In May 2009, Vermont passed the Vermont Energy Act of 2009 (H. 446) directing the DPS to amend RBES to comply with the 2009 edition of the IECC and to amend the CBES to ensure that design and construction comply with ANSI/ASHREA/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007 or the 2009 edition of IECC--whichever is greater.
In June 2010, Vermont passed H.B. 781 further clarifying Vermont's RBES. Of note is that the bill expanding the definition of "residential construction" to include not only new construction but also "alterations, renovations, or repairs" to an existing residential dwelling.
In May 2011, Vermont passed H.B. 56 requiring that the rulemaking to update the RBES and CBES become effective three months after the final adoption of the rules (as opposed to upon the final adoption of the rules).