IECC Residential Proposals

2021 IECC: Flexibility for the Future | 2021 IECC: Ready and Resilient | 2021 IECC: Commercial

The following proposals have been submitted to the residential energy code by NBI and the Northwest Energy Codes Group. These proposals address a wide range of issues and improve the code by adding additional efficiency, clarifying requirements and creating greater flexibility for both code users and local jurisdictions.


Residential Renewable Definition: The residential section references renewable energy but does not include a definition for renewable energy. This proposal introduces a definition for renewable energy that is consistent with the definition from the commercial section.


Grade 1 Insulation Installation: This proposal requires that insulation be installed to the specifications of Grade 1 insulation defined in RESNET/ICC Standard 301. This will ensure that insulation is installed to function effectively.


Pilot Light Prohibition: This proposal prohibits the use of standing pilot lights in most natural gas equipment and appliances.

Whole House Ventilation Fans: This proposal updates the efficiency requirements for fans used for whole-house ventilation. The existing requirements are based on version 2 of the EnergyStar requirements for fan. This proposal updates the table of requirements with the efficiency levels that correspond to the current version of EnergyStar. These efficiency requirements are still below the average efficiency of fans available on the market.


Residential Lighting Efficacy: This proposal updates the definition of “high efficacy lamps” to reflect the current market of energy efficiency lighting. It also updates the definition so that it accommodates high efficiency LED luminaires that utilize integrated LEDs instead of lamps.

Residential Exterior Lighting: This proposal adds a requirement for R-occupancy buildings (such as multifamily buildings) to meet the exterior lighting requirements in the commercial section. These buildings are technically commercial occupancies but are subject to the residential code, and therefore have no efficiency requirements for site lighting.

R406 Energy Rating Index

Residential Renewable Energy Credits: This proposal impacts who may claim the environmental attributes of an onsite-renewable energy system. The environmental attributes of solar power, or other renewable energy, have market value that is reflected and transacted in Renewable Energy Credits (REC). It adds a definition for RECs and a requirement that those environmental benefits remain with the building if the energy is to be considered “renewable” for the purposes of the code.

Proposed R407 Flex Points

Flex Points Additional Energy Efficiency: This proposal creates a “flex points” requirement similar to the mandatory efficiency options in C406 of the commercial section of the energy code. The proposal requires projects to select additional efficiency options equal to achieve a points target. There are several options provided, covering all aspects of building performance.

Zero Energy Residential Appendix

Appendix RB Zero Energy Residential Appendix: This proposal creates an appendix that would provide cities and states a standard to define a zero energy home using the ERI compliance approach. Read this factsheet to learn more

Contact Amy Cortese, NBI director of programs, at [email protected], with any questions.

Additional 2021 IECC Proposals

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