Is Your City and State Ready to Vote on the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code?

State and local government representatives have the power to advance local energy codes and improve the comfort and health of residents by participating in and voting for efficiency proposals in the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) update. But they must act soon to reserve their right to vote. Only representatives who are validated by September 23, 2019 will be eligible to participate in online voting scheduled to take place during a two-week window in late November (dates to be announced). Is your state and local government ready?

Energy codes help cities, counties and states reach climate action goals and reduce energy burden on the most vulnerable members of communities. The IECC sets minimum energy efficiency standards for commercial and residential buildings. Many states and cities in the United States base their energy code on the IECC. The IECC gets updated every three years, and directly impacts people’s lives. As energy codes improve over time, they help reduce energy costs for building owners and tenants. Improvements to energy codes also lead to healthier indoor air quality, more comfortable indoor spaces and lower carbon emissions.

Register as a voting representative for your organization

Only current governmental members of the International Code Council can weigh in on the 2021 IECC updates in November. Every governmental member of the International Code Council must select a Primary Representative. The Primary Representative may designate 4-12 representatives (based on population) to vote on behalf of their organization. Known as “Governmental Member Voting Representatives”, they must be “employees or officials of that governmental member who are actively engaged full or part-time in the administration, formulation or enforcement of laws, regulations or ordinances relating to public health, safety and welfare.” Jurisdictions with multiple governmental memberships may register 4-12 voters for each membership.

People from many departments serve as voting representatives: Fire, Buildings, Inspection, Public Works, Sustainability, Planning, Facilities, the Mayor’s office, Public Health Boards and others. If you work for a state or local government, you can inquire with one of these departments to find your Primary Representative. He or she can go here to sign you up, or “validate” you, as a Governmental Member Voting Representative. Still confused? Check out this short video on voter validation by a coalition of partners in Massachusetts it provides step-by-step instructions.

The deadline for your Primary Representative to add voters to your roster is September 23, 2019.

If you are a citizen, you can reach out to your Mayor’s Office to inquire about your government’s membership in the International Code Council and urge them to validate their entire roster of voters before the September 23 deadline.

Become an informed IECC voter

  • Fewer than 500 people cast votes in favor of energy efficiency proposals in the last IECC update. New Buildings Institute and our partners at the Energy Efficient Codes Coalition are working to ensure a higher percentage of people vote for efficiency proposals this time. In addition to encouraging all International Code Council government members to register their full roster of voters by September 23, 2019, we are building awareness about the process and proposals for this 2021 IECC update.
  • In late September, a voting guide will help Governmental Member Voting Representatives understand the potential impacts of all 2021 IECC efficiency proposals. Some proposals will advance energy efficiency codes and others will lead to rollbacks. We’ll explain the nuances.

We’ll be hosting a free webinar, Thursday, September 19, 2019, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM PDT / 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM EDT, to discuss the most critical efficiency-related proposals. The webinar will be recorded and available on-demand.

Have questions? Feel free to reach out to Amy Cortese, NBI Director of Programs, at [email protected].

Written by Amy Cortese, Director of Programs