Currently, 37 states, covering almost 90% of the US population, have adopted at least the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Adoption is only the first step to more efficient buildings. To generate the promised energy savings, builders need to comply with the code. There have been many studies done to evaluate code compliance over the years, however, different studies use different methodologies; making it difficult to compare within or across states as well as across time. Moreover, compliance studies did not typically collect information in such a way as to calculate the potential energy savings. In 2014, 8 states began work on a United States Department of Energy (DOE) funded project that included a code compliance assessment methodology designed to calculate potential energy savings. The Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) along with the Kentucky Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction (DHBC) and the Kentucky Department of Energy Development and Independence (DEDI) received funding to do this work in Kentucky. This paper will describe the methodology in detail; discuss how the study methodology was implemented in the field, and provide results on the amount and type of energy code non-compliance in Kentucky.
Although the Kentucky Code Compliance Improvement Project is still in the middle of Phase 2 (of 3 phases), certain facts have been learned about improving code compliance. It has been found that a comprehensive code compliance assessment can be done at a statewide level for a reasonable cost. The compliance assessment can identify areas of improvement from which a code compliance improvement program can be designed.