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

Voting resources

NBI, the Energy Efficient Codes Coalition (EECC), and other partners have developed the following materials to assist validated voters. They include:

2021 IECC Voters Guide.  Provides a list of all suggested votes by with highlighted rows representing priority proposals.

EECC Complete Commercial Proposals List.  Provides a complete list of commercial (CE) proposal and EECC voting recommendations.

EECC Complete Residential Proposals List. Provides a complete list of residential (RE) proposal and EECC voting recommendations.

Top Proposals Explained Factsheet. NBI’s recommendations for highest efficiency proposals.

On Demand Webinar-A Guide for Voters This recorded webinar offers an expert overview of energy codes, explains how voting in the IECC works, and provides a high-level overview of the efficiency proposals that have the greatest potential to reduce energy use in buildings.

More information about the IECC voting process

Only “Governmental Member Voting Representives” can vote for proposals under consideration in the IECC. Learn more about how to vote in the IECC.  To learn more about the IECC voting process by visiting our IECC Voting page.
IECC Voting

Proposals under consideration

      • Flexibility for Future. 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.