The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a determination that the updated model energy code for commercial buildings, ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2022, will increase energy efficiency in commercial buildings. DOE technical analysis, performed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), estimates that buildings meeting the updated Standard 90.1-2022, as compared to buildings meeting the 2019 edition, would result in national site energy savings of 9.8%, source energy savings of 9.4%, energy cost savings of 8.9%, and carbon emissions savings of 9.3%. 

Standard 90.1-2022 adds several important changes, including an expanded scope addressing building sites and modest requirements for onsite renewables. When accounting for the impact of onsite renewable energy systems, the national average site energy savings estimate increases from 9.8% to 14% (referenced as “net” savings compared to Standard 90.1-2019). 

This action represents DOE’s determination for Standard 90.1-2022 as directed under the Energy Conservation and Production Act (ECPA), as amended (42 USC 6833). 

Key Changes in Standard 90.1-2022

The incorporation of prescriptive requirements for renewable energy systems marks the first time that onsite generation has been required by the Standard, recognizing the role of renewables in new construction, echoing similar requirements in several state and local building codes, and better positioning new commercial buildings to achieve net zero energy in the future. Other key changes include customizable energy credits, a new mechanical system efficiency performance option, requirements to address thermal bridging, expanded criteria for whole-building air-leakage testing, updated lighting power allowances, and additional guidance for using emissions in addition to traditional site, source, and cost-based metrics. 

Supporting technical analysis, as well as previous model energy code determinations, are available at: www.energycodes.gov/determinations.

State Energy Code Review and Certification 

Upon publication of this affirmative determination, each state must review and certify their state building codes relative to the updated edition of Standard 90.1. Certification statements provided by states shall be submitted within two years after the notice has been published in the Federal Register. The Federal Register notice provides further guidance on state code review processes and associated certifications. States can also learn more about DOE’s model energy code determination, including specific requirements and deadlines, at: www.energycodes.gov/determinations.

Federal Support for Updated Building Codes

Modern building codes are a key component of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda and National Initiative to Advance Building Codes, helping to save American’s money on their energy bills, while bolstering our homes and businesses against the effects of extreme weather. Today’s action supports state and local adoption of the latest building codes, with today’s energy codes yielding residential and commercial buildings that are 40% more efficient than just 15 years ago. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, DOE has provided over $1.2 billion in new federal funding supporting modern building energy codes, $225 million as provided under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and an additional $1 billion through the Inflation Reduction Act, helping to reduce emissions in the built environment and tackle the climate crisis. 

This email is part of an effort by DOE to notify all interested persons of significant program developments under the Building Energy Codes Program.

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The Building Energy Codes Program

The U.S. Department of Energy supports the advancement of building energy codes. Modern building codes and standards offer cost-effective solutions, contributing to lower utility bills for homes and businesses and helping mitigate the impacts of climate change. Learn more at energycodes.gov.