The first-ever state board formed to oversee stricter energy and building efficiency codes in Colorado is now meeting and on its way to helping enforce tighter decarbonizing benchmarks by 2026.
The 21-member Colorado Energy Code Board held its first meeting last week as it begins a pathway to creating Colorado’s first statewide building energy codes in line with International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) rules by July 2026. The Colorado General Assembly passed the Building Energy Codes law which created the board in May.
Board members were appointed from the Colorado Energy Office and state Department of Local Affairs. They will review and approved and recommend energy codes, which are required to be adopted by June 2023, for new buildings and retrofits to existing buildings statewide.
New buildings will need to be model electric and solar ready. There also will be a model low energy and carbon code which will intend to minimize carbon dioxide emissions and be based on either the 2021 or 2024 IECCs.
Factors which impact building energy usage and emissions include heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), lighting, insulation, windows and appliances.
Members of the board include home builders, licensed electricians and/or plumbers, facilities management or operations experts, an electric utility representatives and environmental groups, among others.
Earlier this year, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed an executive order to ensure state buildings are more energy efficient and sustainable. Nationwide, energy efficiency experts estimate that building emissions account for between 25 and 40 percent of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.
The national nonprofit Residential Energy Services Network, or RESNET, recently developed the new CO2 Rating Index. The tool calculates energy emissions from buildings in a manner similar to a miles per gallon rating.