2021 IECC National Model Energy Code (Base Codes)

Codes And Policy / Energy Codes

Energy codes are a cost-effective way for cities and local governments to cut carbon emissions, eliminate energy waste, improve comfort and health for building occupants, and increase housing affordability by reducing the ongoing energy burden for owners and renters.

Updates to the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), America’s national model energy code, are underway. Only Governmental Member Voting Representatives officially registered under their International Codes Council membership by September 23rd will be eligible to vote in the electronic balloting this November.

NBI is drawing on past success in the IECC process and deep experience in advanced energy code implementation in cities and states to achieve a 10%-15% efficiency improvement in the 2021 IECC.

Along with a broad group of partners, NBI has developed more than 30 code proposals that will improve energy efficiency if adopted. Together, these proposals put us on a glide path to lower energy costs, higher property values, better comfort and productivity, and lower carbon emissions from the building sector.

Find out more about how to participate and vote.

Register as a Governmental Member Voting Representative!

If you work for a state or local government, you may be eligible to vote on the final code proposals, but only if your ICC Primary Representative completes the online validation process and registers you as an official “Governmental Member Voting Representative” (GMVR) by September 23, 2019. GMVRs need to be revalidated online for each code cycle. Ask your ICC Primary Representative to help get you registered. These resources can help.

Electronic voting will happen in late November 2019. To learn more about the IECC voting process by visiting our IECC Voting page.
IECC Voting

Watch live and on-demand webinars to learn more about the proposals and process for updating the 2021 IECC.

    • September 19 webinar | 10-11:30 a.m. (Pacific) During this 90-minute session, experts will outline the best opportunities for achieving substantial energy savings that will have decades-long impacts on the energy performance of residential and commercial buildings.
    • June 25, 2019 webinar – This on-demand webinar covers outcomes from the Spring 2019 International Code Council Committee hearings in Albuquerque, NM and outlines the best opportunities for achieving substantial energy savings in the 2021 IECC
    • March 5, 2019 webinar– This on-demand webinar xplains the IECC update process and proposed changes, which fall into the following broad themes:
      • Flexibility. These proposals advance the flexibility of both the commercial and residential parts of the energy code and allow the code to improve the energy efficiency of buildings without adopting requirements that are not appropriate for all projects. By including multiple options that may be highly effective in some situations but not in others, the code can offer increasing energy efficiency while providing projects flexibility to choose the path to efficiency that works best for that project. This is at the heart of CE 218: Section C406 Points Option in the commercial section of the energy code.
        Flexibility for the Future
      • Ready & Resilient. These proposals augment the code to ensure that buildings are ready for a future of greater resiliency and renewable energy. They update existing requirements and definitions to align them with current market and policy trends and introduce new requirements to ensure that buildings built today can adapt to these emerging trends.
        Ready & Resiliant
      • Commercial. These proposals cover a wide range of issues and improve the commercial code by adding additional efficiency, clarifying requirements and creating greater flexibility for code users and local jurisdictions.
      • Residential. These proposals cover a wide range of issues and improve the residential code by adding additional efficiency, clarifying requirements and creating greater flexibility for code users and local jurisdictions.

More about the IECC and benefits of improved efficiency

The IECC is the most widely adopted model energy code by local jurisdictions in the United States. It provides many benefits, among which is the model code development process that offers an international forum for energy professionals to discuss performance and prescriptive code requirements. This model code also encourages international consistency in the application of provisions.

Boosting the efficiency of building energy codes is essential to sound energy policy and to meeting Paris Accord and other carbon reduction targets. Buildings use over 40% of the energy used in the United States, including 70% of the electricity. Building energy use accounts for more than one-third of greenhouse gas emissions globally. Improvements to the new and existing building stock are critical to reducing energy use and meeting climate goals.

The IECC is updated every three years through a stakeholder approval process. While progress was made in efficiency gains in this code between 2006 and 2012, more recently efficiency improvements have stagnated due to political pressure from specific interest groups, leaving many jurisdictions that rely on the IECC unable to move forward with efficiency gains. The 2021 IECC is the best near-term opportunity to curb carbon impacts from new buildings across the United States.