In drafting EECC proposals and developing its positions on proposals authored by others for the 2015 code cycle, EECC operates under twelve guiding principles:

  1. THE 2012 IECC IS THE APPROPRIATE FOUNDATION FOR FUTURE IMPROVEMENTS TO AMERICA’S MODEL ENERGY CODE (THE IECC). The 2012 IECC successfully culminated a two-cycle, six year effort by EECC, US DOE and other stakeholders to achieve a 30% boost in the model energy code’s efficiency. US DOE has designated the 2012 IECC as the new baseline national model energy code and has formally determined that its residential provisions improve energy efficiency, which trigger a federal requirement that states consider its adoption within two years. US DOE has called the 2012 IECC “the largest, one-step efficiency increase in the history of the national model energy code.” Recognizing this monumental achievement, and given the support for and acceptance of this code by public officials, the 2012 IECC should be the starting point and the baseline for any analysis of future proposed improvements.
  2. REASONABLE IMPROVEMENTS IN ENERGY EFFICIENCY SHOULD BE ACHIEVED EACH CODE CYCLE AS COMPARED TO THE PREVIOUS IECC. EECC’s target for 2015 is the development of an IECC that is at least five percent more efficient than the 2012 IECC.
  3. DON’T BACKSLIDE. We oppose modifications or proposals that weaken the energy efficiency of a building or system or overturn gains and improvements included in the 2012 IECC and IRC.
  4. LONGEVITY, SIMPLICITY, EASE OF ENFORCEMENT, COMFORT & ENERGY/ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS ARE PARAMOUNT CONSIDERATIONS FOR IECC IMPROVEMENTS. We believe that all reasonable energy code improvements should be adopted; however, if they are to be prioritized, a key factor is their durability, long-term performance and longevity; the longer a particular improvement is likely to be in place, the more energy savings value it brings. In addition, characteristics other than energy savings should be considered in evaluating proposals, including simplicity, ease of enforcement, and other impacts such as peak energy demand, occupant comfort, and environmental benefits.
  5. A SIMPLIFIED PRESCRIPTIVE COMPLIANCE PATH LEADS TO GREATER COMPLIANCE, ENFORCEMENT AND MARKET TRANSFORMATION FOR RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION. We support continuation of a simplified approach to compliance under the IECC. The key is a single simplified prescriptive compliance path containing reasonable prescriptive measures and individual building component performance requirements. By establishing a clear target for all stakeholders, prescriptive requirements make compliance and enforcement easier and can encourage competition and innovation among manufacturers that enhances quality, lowers installed costs and improves efficiency. A complementary performance compliance path option that is at least as efficient as the prescriptive path, while requiring a reasonable minimum level of envelope efficiency, can provide interested stakeholders additional flexibility. An array of options can also be offered to achieve additional energy efficiency above the prescriptive path baseline.
  6. ADOPT “TRADE-UPS,” NOT “TRADE-OFFS.” We oppose the adoption of prescriptive “tradeoffs” to current prescriptive path requirements (which result in no energy efficiency gains and serve to complicate code enforcement and compliance), but we can support reasonable “tradeups” (which boost energy efficiency) where the trade-up involves a choice among reasonably equivalent options that cannot be included as reasonable stand-alone prescriptive requirements.
  7. MAINTAIN THE ELIMINATION OF EQUIPMENT TRADE-OFFS. We oppose equipment tradeoffs in the residential compliance paths. Under federal law, the IECC and adopting jurisdictions do not have the discretion to determine and set prescriptive or baseline requirements for equipment in the code above federal minimums, which are often set well below standard practice making trade-offs a code compliance loophole. Moreover, trade-offs do not consider other important factors such as the importance of minimum building envelope performance and the typical useful life of equipment. It may be possible to include equipment in a “trade-up” approach as set forth Principle #6, particularly where the approach is properly designed to address concerns with equipment trade-offs and where demonstrated incremental savings are sufficiently large.
  8. OPPOSE INDUSTRY- OR PRODUCT-SPECIFIC PROVISIONS. We oppose industry- or productspecific special exemptions or provisions. We believe that all types of buildings and all material types should generally be required to achieve the same level of energy efficiency.
  9. INDEPENDENT TESTING & CERTIFICATION HELPS CODE COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT. We support reasonable independent product, system and building testing and certification to ensure code compliance and enforcement.
  10. ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROVISIONS FOR EXISTING BUILDINGS SHOULD BE MORE EXPLICIT IN THE IECC AND BE AS ROBUST AS THE PROVISIONS FOR NEW CONSTRUCTION. We support improvements to the IECC and other International Codes to ensure that additions, renovations, replacements and repairs achieve reasonable energy efficiency. The requirements for energy efficiency in existing buildings must be clearly spelled out in the IECC.
  11. MAINTAIN AND IMPROVE THE 2012 IECC COMMERCIAL PROVISIONS. Future IECC commercial building requirements should continue to be at least as energy efficient overall as ASHRAE 90.1. In the cases where the existing or proposed IECC requirements are more efficient than ASHRAE 90.1, or are likely to result in increased compliance, ease of enforcement and market transformation, we support these requirements in the IECC and encourage their adoption by ASHRAE.
  12. NO PRIDE OF AUTHORSHIP. We support the adoption of all reasonable energy code proposals that boost the energy efficiency of residential and commercial building construction and renovation and are consistent with our other principles, regardless of author. If proposals by other proponents are better than EECC proposals, we will support the best proposal.