In a step that will safeguard affordability for consumers, ICC Board of Directors removes anti-competitive provisions from 2024 International Energy Conservation Code

The International Code Council’s Board of Directors today approved appeals from AGA and others to the 2024 International Energy Conservation Code, moving problematic electric-ready provisions of the code to a non-mandatory appendix and presenting other provisions outside the code as a resource. The move protects the integrity of the code as a leading energy efficiency resource for states.

“The ICC Board of Directors made the right decision for the United States to be more energy efficient in removing these deeply problematic provisions from the code base. This is further confirmation of how natural gas and our delivery system are fundamental to protecting America’s energy security and achieving our environmental goals and economic prosperity,” said American Gas Association President and CEO Karen Harbert. “This ICC decision is the next in line of a long chain of events including the protection of fuel choice in 25 states and the rejection of a natural gas ban in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that indicate the future of natural gas in continuing to deliver efficiency, reliability, and affordability for American families.”

The 2024 IECC will have a powerful economic influence and will be incorporated by reference by federal, state, and local governments. Because it is developed by market participants or persons who may gain from its economic impacts, the IECC amendments must be based on an objective standard and developed through due process principles, including openness, transparency, and balance of interested parties.

Read a full description of the decision from the ICC Board of Directors below.

# # #

The International Code Council Board of Directors Makes Final Decision on 2024 IECC Appeals and Addresses Preemption Challenges

On March 18, 2024, the International Code Council Board of Directors voted to affirm in part and reject in part nine appeals filed by five appellants to a draft of the 2024 commercial and residential editions of the International Energy Conservation Code® (IECC®). The Board also addressed several claims that aspects of the draft 2024 IECC codes were preempted by the federal Energy Policy and Conservation Act. 

The Appeals 
The appeals were focused on the IECC’s scope and intent, consensus building approaches, procedural specific issues, and subject specific issues. The International Code Council Board of Directors determined that the scope and intent governing the 2024 IECC prohibited the inclusion of measures that did not directly affect building energy conservation within the base of the draft 2024 IECC, as the intent of both the commercial and residential 2024 IECC codes is limited to “providing minimum efficiency requirements for buildings that result in the maximum level of energy efficiency that is safe, technologically feasible, and life cycle cost effective considering economic feasibility, including potential costs and saving for consumers and building owners, and return on investment.” The Board further determined that alternative measures, including measures without direct impacts to building energy conservation, but that may reduce greenhouse gas emissions, could be included as appendix materials given the intent of both the residential and commercial IECC codes provides that “[t]he code may include nonmandatory appendices incorporating additional energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction resources.”

Based on this interpretation, the Board resolved that several challenged provisions that the Board viewed as concerning greenhouse gas reduction and not building energy conservation be removed from within the base of the draft 2024 IECC codes and placed in appendices to accompany the codes. The affected provisions moved to an appendix include:   Sections C406.1.1.1 and C502.3.7.1 (heat pump products)   Sections C403.4.6, C404.10, C405.2.8, R403.5.4 and N1103.5.4 (demand response)   Sections C405.14, R404.7, and N1104.7 (electric vehicle charging infrastructure)   Section C405.16 (electrical energy storage system readiness)   Sections R404.6 and N1104.6 (solar readiness)   Sections R404.5 and N1104.5 (electric readiness)

The Board also considered concerns voiced by the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) that provisions in the draft IECC codes were federally preempted by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. Where the Board determined there was a significant risk of preemption based on case law or the Board had concerns about the ability to comply with provisions using minimum efficiency equipment, the Board decided to move those provisions to a resource with a cautionary note regarding the risk of preemption. Affected provisions include:   Appendix CG (all-electric commercial) and Appendix RE (all-electric residential): moved to resource due to significant risk of preemption based on case law  Appendix CD Section CD101.1 and Table CD101.1 (prescriptive glide path to net zero): moved to resource due to significant risk of preemption based on an inability to comply with minimum efficiency equipment   Appendix RG (glide path to net zero): retained as an appendix with a cautionary note regarding the limited compliance options for minimum efficiency equipment in specific climate zones.

Finalization of the 2024 IECC
The Board’s determinations mark the conclusion of the 2024 IECC’s development and the code’s finalization. The 2024 IECC builds on the 2021 edition and is anticipated to improve energy efficiency by roughly 6.5% for residential buildings and by 10% for commercial buildings. For jurisdictions seeking to incorporate additional greenhouse gas reduction measures, the code will contain new options for electrical vehicle charging infrastructure, energy storage systems, electric readiness, and demand responsive controls. The Code Council deeply appreciates the extensive work of the 2024 IECC development committees and stakeholders who participated in the development process and the subsequent appeals.