The 2015 IECC became effective in Illinois on January 1, 2016
The Capital Development Board (CDB), in conjunction with the Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO), has completed the cycle for the Illinois Energy Conservation Code (IECC) to update from the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) to the 2015 IECC. In accordance with The Energy Efficient Building Act, CDB is required to review and adopt the most current version of the IECC within one year after its publication date. The Code will then become effective within 6 months following its adoption by CDB. The effective date for the 2015 IECC, with Illinois Amendments, to become law in the State of Illinois was January 1, 2016.
When developing Code adaptations, rules, and procedures for compliance with the Code, CDB is required to seek input from representatives of the building trades, design professionals, construction professionals, code administrators, and other interested entities affected by the new Code. To ensure input from these groups, CDB created the Illinois Energy Code Advisory Council (ILECAC) which has representatives from each of the groups listed above. Proposed amendments were accepted by the ILECAC from July 1, 2014 - December 1, 2014. The ILECAC reviewed all properly submitted, proposed amendments to the Code and, after deliberation, voted regarding the acceptance or rejection of these proposed amendments. The Council’s recommendations were then presented to the CDB. With CDB’s vote to accept the ILECAC’s recommendations, they were submitted to the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) for acceptance and implementation. JCAR Voted to accept CDB’s recommendations December 15, 2015
Public Act 096-0778 was signed into law on August 28, 2009 amending the Energy Efficient Commercial Building Act by including residential buildings and amending the name of the act to the Energy Efficient Building Act. The new requirements for residential buildings became effective on January 29, 2010.
HISTORY OF THE ILLINOIS ENERGY CONSERVATION CODE
Public Act 093-0936 (Energy Efficient Commercial Building Act) was signed into law in August, 2004. Thereby, an Illinois Energy Conservation Code for Commercial Buildings based on the 2000 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 90.1-1999 Standard referenced therein, and the 2001 IECC Supplement to that Code, became effective April 8, 2006. On October 9, 2007 the Law was revised to mandate the latest published edition, excluding supplements, of the IECC. As of August 18, 2009 the Illinois Energy Conservation Code for Commercial Buildings was the 2009 IECC. On August 28, 2009, Public Act 096-0778 requiring an energy code for residential buildings was signed into law. It became effective January 29, 2010, establishing the 2009 IECC as the first energy code for residential buildings in Illinois.
Senate Bill 3724, signed by the Governor on August 17, 2012, amended the implementation date of the 2012 Illinois Energy Conservation Code to January 1, 2013. The Bill also lengthened the time the ILECAC and CDB have to review and adopt future published editions of the Code and make them effective. This allowed stakeholders more time for training and preparation to build, design, and enforce the future updated codes.
WHAT THE LAW REQUIRES
The Law requires all new commercial and residential construction for which a building permit application is received by a municipality or county to follow a comprehensive statewide energy conservation code. Renovations, alterations, additions, and repairs to most existing commercial and residential buildings must follow the Illinois Energy Conservation Code. The Law requires design and construction professionals to follow the latest published edition of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) which is currently the 2015 IECC and the ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013 “Energy Standard for Buildings except Low-Rise Residential Buildings,” referenced therein. Under the law, the Capital Development Board has the power to modify the Illinois Energy Conservation Code. The Illinois Office of Energy & Recycling in the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is responsible for providing Training, Education and Technical Assistance in support.
Local governments are free to adopt stricter energy conservation Laws for COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS defined by the Law. However, for RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS defined by the Law, local governments may not adopt or regulate energy conservation standards either less or more stringent than the Illinois Energy Conservation Code. Exceptions which would allow local governments to regulate energy efficient standards in a more stringent manner are municipalities or counties which meet one of the following three provisions:
- A unit of local government that on or before May 15, 2009 adopted or incorporated by reference energy efficient building standards for residential building that are equivalent to or more stringent than the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code
- A unit of local government that on or before May 15, 2009 provided to the Capital Development Board identification of an energy efficient building code or amendment that is equivalent to or more stringent than the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code
- A municipality with a population of 1,000,000 or more
THE GOALS OF THE LAW
The Law is designed to help protect the environment and reduce energy consumption. By following an energy conservation code, property owners can reduce air pollution, moderate energy demand and stabilize energy costs and electric, oil, and gas supplies.
The efficiency gains of the 2009 IECC set a new baseline for International Energy Conservation Code-compliant, new single- and multifamily homes, and while, there will be regional variability and uncertainty in technology penetration, quantitative estimates of National Energy & Cost Savings for New Single- and Multifamily Homes from U.S. DOE concluded that moving from a baseline of the 2006 IECC to the 2009 IECC reduces average annual energy costs by 10.8%, while moving from the same baseline 2012 IECC reduces them by 32.1%. In its May 2015 report entitled 2015 IECC: Energy Savings Analysis, the U.S. DOE concludes that new single- and multifamily homes built to the 2015 IECC, compared with buildings built to the 2012 IECC, would result in an energy cost savings of approximately 0.82-0.63 percent for Illinois Climate Zones 4 and 5. In its June 2015 report entitled Energy and Energy Cost Savings Analysis of the 2015 IECC for Commercial Buildings, the U.S. DOE concludes that new commercial buildings built to the 2015 IECC, compared with buildings built to the 2012 IECC, would result in an energy cost savings of 11.5 percent on a national aggregated basis.
WHAT THE LAW DOESN’T COVER
The Law does not apply to buildings designated “historic” or having “landmark status” (interior and exterior separately), buildings exempt from a local building code, and buildings that do not use either electricity or fossil fuel for comfort conditioning. For purposes of determining whether this exemption applies, a building will be presumed to be heated by electricity, even in the absence of equipment used for electric comfort heating, whenever the building is provided with electrical service in excess of 100 amps. The Illinois’ Energy Efficient Building Act may be found in Chapter 20 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, Act 3125.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) and Technical Notes concerning the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code® (IECC®), with Illinois amendments and relevant referenced Standards therein, as they apply to the State of Illinois.
Illinois Baseline Compliance Study – Measuring the Baseline Compliance with Residential and Non-Residential Buildings in Illinois against the 2009 & 2012 International Energy Conservation Code
Code Enforcement Officials
Blower Door Testing May Be Performed By A Diagnostic Energy Tester.
Illinois Resources For Builders & Code Officials – Success with the Illinois Energy Code
Tech Tips, Trade Checklists & Code Officials Checklist - Downloadable and printable
DOE Delays 90% Furnace Rule
Building Energy Codes Resource Guide: Code Officials Edition —
Now Available from U.S. Department of Energy!
Are you interested in purchasing a quality home or townhouse in Illinois? Do you want to learn more about how to make your existing home more energy-efficient?
- Illinois Consumer Checklist - This checklist is designed to help you spot check for compliance with the Illinois Energy Conservation Code. While it does not include every requirement, this checklist will help you assess a home and make an informed decision about the quality of construction and efficiency of a home.
- Illinois Consumer Guide -This guide provides a quick way to assess home energy performance. The guide describes the minimum standards of construction practice for new homes in Illinois based on the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) with amendments as the Illinois Energy Conservation Code. While it does not include every requirement, this will help you assess your own home, and if you are in the market for a new home, make an informed decision about the quality of construction and efficiency for that new home purchase.
- US DOE’s Building America Solution Center - The Building America Solution Center provides residential building professionals with access to expert information on hundreds of high-performance design and construction topics, including air sealing and insulation, HVAC components, windows, indoor air quality, and much more.
DOE’s Building Energy Codes Program Compliance Software Tools
- REScheck: Used to show compliance on residential building plans
- COMcheck: Used to show compliance on commercial building plans
- Other forms of compliance may be used as approved by the Authority Having Jurisdiction.
- USDOE’s Solutions & Help Center – Help with compliance software