New Buildings Institute (NBI) and RMI Join Forces to Support Model Energy Code Proposals Aimed at Prohibiting Natural Gas in the Built Environment.
Back  on January 29th, we reported that the National Building Institute (NBI) had announced a program that would advance energy model code provisions that would support “electrification “ and aimed at removing applications of natural gas in homes and buildings. One approach that they were touting was to promote energy code provisions that would include provisions that were recently denied in the development of the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) that would reinstitute these failed provisions along with the provisions in the 2021 Edition of the IECC. This would be accomplished by providing an “overlay” to the IECC with the denied provisions and offering these changes in state adoption proceedings. This week, the NBI announced that they have joined with RMI (formerly known as the Rocky Mountain Institute)  to promote a Codes-for-Climate Initiative that will accelerate this effort throughout North America. It is anticipated that the NBI -RMI efforts will be to interject the “overlay” as part of the proposals to update energy codes during state and local energy code adoption proceedings.  The Press Release states the following verifying that the “overlay” will be a central part of their efforts:
“Codes for Climate will start with new construction, where ambitious climate-aligned codes are easiest to implement and most impactful, then move to address building performance standards and other policy options that will dramatically reduce emissions from existing buildings. Using NBI’s recently released Building Decarbonization Code overlay to the 2021 IECC as a starting point, code language will be developed to meet the urgency of achieving a 1.5°-degrees Celsius target in new construction by 2030.”
This effort would basically ignore and overturn the ICC governmental consensus development process that the IECC went through to develop the 2021 IECC and needs to be challenged where ever it is promoted. The BECS Committee will be discussing the development of fact based material to counter the claims that will be made by the NBI-RMI in their efforts to ban or discourage natural gas applications by adding energy code provisions that will do just that. It is important that BECS members be aware of state regulatory or legislative activities that are considering energy code provision changes. Note that the BECS updates provide weekly state activities outlining  code hearing schedules.
International Code Council Appoints Committees to Lead International Energy Conservation Code Development – Utilities Represented.
This week, the ICC announced appointments to the committees responsible for the  development of the 2024 Editions of the Residential Energy Code and the Commercial Energy Code. The framework for the energy code development process can be found here:
Leading the Way to Energy Efficiency: A Path Forward on Energy and Sustainability to Confront a Changing Climate.  The ICC Code Council Board of Directors has appointed 48 members to its Residential Energy Code Consensus Committee and 45 members to its Commercial Energy Code Consensus Committee, one-third of which are governmental regulators. The ICC Press Release states that “Given the urgency in ensuring the committees have enough time to complete its work to publish the 2024 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) alongside the other International Codes (I-Codes), IECC committee member terms are effective immediately and will end June 15, 2024. “ Code change proposals for consideration can be submitted online beginning in mid-July 2021 through October 12, 2021. A complete list of all committee members is available on the Press Release and there are two utility positions on each committee. BECS Committee members will need to pay very close attention on proposed changes to both the Residential and Commercial Energy Codes specifically because of the onslaught of efforts by anti-fossil fuel advocates who have a history of promoting model energy code provisions that promote electrification and that would prohibit natural gas applications.
National Fuel Gas Code (NFGC) Committee Begins Process to Develop 2024 Edition of the National Fuel Gas Code (Z223.1/NFPA 54).
The process has begun to develop the 2024 Edition of the National Fuel Gas Code. There are 115 proposed changes (Referred to as Public Input) to the 2021 Edition of the National Fuel Gas Code that can be found here: .    The NFGC Full Committee and Panels are scheduled to meet virtually this fall  to review all Public Input and take action as they deem appropriate. We will be reviewing all of the Public Input and providing comments on each in the near future. BECS Committee members are also requested to review all of the Public Input comments and  we will be providing the details of the dates, time and virtual access procedures of the NFGC Committee and Panel meetings when  available.
State Codes Activity Update.
Attached  is a weekly feature of the “Friday Update” covering state code calendar activities as presented by the online utility “Fiscal Note,” which is sponsored by APGA and AGA Code and Standards. Please review the update and determine if there are state code activities that impact your service territory or organization.