Are You In? Register to Vote on the Energy Code TODAY!

Do you work for a state or local government? If so, you have a voice in what our next energy code looks like—but only if you register as a member of the International Code Council by Friday, March 29. While voting on the code proposals won’t happen until November (and we’ll have a lot more resources to help you through the voting process when the times comes), if you don’t register now, you won’t be able to vote. And if you don’t work for a government, let your local officials know that you want them to use their vote to support efficiency.

The building energy code makes our homes and businesses safer and more comfortable—and a strong energy code is crucial in the fight against climate change. We’ve kicked off the development of the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), which governs how energy efficient new and renovated buildings must be, and we want to make it the best one yet. Buildings last a long time. Making them as efficient as possible reaps benefits both now and for future generations. But we can’t make progress on our own.

A recent article in the New York Times highlights just how important a strong energy code is to curbing the effects of climate change. Yet historically, it’s been hard to make progress because so few governmental members have taken the time to vote. But we hope the tides are turning: more than 400 mayors have made commitments to curb harmful greenhouse gas emissions, and we’re seeing more interest in an improved energy code than ever before. Will you be part of the wave that makes historic progress?

DOE

Strong building energy codes are a slam dunk for energy efficiency: they save consumers money and they help mitigate the impacts of climate change. Better energy codes mean better buildings with more insulation and better windows, fewer carbon emissions, and more energy savings for consumers. Energy efficiency is one of the most effective tools to fight climate change, so more efficient buildings are more important than ever. Let’s work together and make cleaner, more efficient buildings the reality.

The energy codes apply to new buildings and major renovations, and ensure that your new home will have enough insulation in the attic and walls, high-quality windows, and that the energy-using systems in your home function efficiently. A home built to the 2018 code uses less than half of the energy as a standard home constructed in 1975—and there’s still room for improved efficiency and resiliency.

Here’s what to do:

Register to vote

If you work for a state or local government, you can vote on the final code proposals! While that voting won’t happen until November, there are steps you need to take now. The most important thing is make sure your agency, department, or unit is a member of the International Code Council (ICC). The deadline for registration is March 29. If you’re not a member by then, you won’t be able to vote on proposals for the 2021 IECC.

Spread the word

If you’re already registered to vote, make sure others are too! In previous code cycles, of the more than 100,000 potential governmental officials eligible to vote in across the nation, only about 20,000 registered to vote, and only about 500 actually cast their votes for the energy code. If just 500 more officials had cast votes, today’s energy code could already be more efficient.

What is the IECC?

The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) is the model building energy code updated every three years through a stakeholder process involving code officials, builders, efficiency advocates, and other interested parties. Once the model code is developed, it’s then up to cities and states to adopt it. The IECC is used by more than 40 states, although not all are using the latest version. It also is recognized by the Department of Energy (DOE) and cited in federal law.

About the Authors

Lauren Urbanek

Senior Energy Policy Advocate, Climate & Clean Energy Program

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