On June 22, 2022, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed House Bill (HB) 803 into law requiring the statewide adoption of the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and the 2021 International Residential Code (IRC) Chapter 11 Energy Efficiency. The Louisiana legislature had previously cleared the bill unanimously. The newly signed bill will transfer the responsibility of commercial energy code enforcement from the state government to the local, municipal/parish government and third-party providers, while the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code Council (LSUCCC) will add the IECC as part of the statewide adopted codes.
To facilitate the code’s adoption, HB 803 also establishes the “Energy Code Commission” which will be comprised of 16 members and be responsible for reviewing and amending the 2021 editions of the IRC Chapter 11 and IECC for residential, commercial and state-owned buildings. This temporary commission will review and consider amendments to the 2021 energy code provisions and will dissolve upon the completion of the LSUCCC’s Administrative Rule process, completing the adoption of the 2021 IECC. The code’s ultimate statewide effective date is July 1, 2023.
“Adopting and implementing modern building codes and standards plays a vital role in achieving a safe, affordable and sustainable built environment. Energy codes are an important contributor to individual and community resilience,” said Code Council CEO Dominic Sims, CBO. “They help avoid wasted energy and save consumers money on their utility bills. The Code Council commends Louisiana for its proactive leadership.”
The new legislation comes as the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is standing up a grant program to assist with the implementation of updated energy codes. The Energy Code Implementation Program was established in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) passed in November 2021, which provides $225 million over five years. The DOE is expected to release its funding opportunity announcement later this year. The Code Council provides resources to help jurisdictions access this funding.
Louisiana’s new legislation also aligns with the Code Council’s Code on a Mission campaign. This campaign aims to have over a third of the U.S. population covered by energy codes that meet or exceed the 2021 IECC by the end of 2023. The Code Council is already halfway to achieving its goal.
More details about the recently passed legislation can be found here.