|Action||Update the Uniform Statewide Building Code|
|Comment Period||Ends 6/26/2020|
Time for Virginia to Meet the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code
Virginia has not met the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for at least the last eight years. It is time to change this and amend the Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC) to meet the 2018 IECC energy conservation standards for all construction covered by the Virginia Code. Given that nationally, buildings represent 70% of electricity consumption, and electricity prices in Virginia are among the country's highest, investments in energy efficiency provide immediate and cost-effective economic and financial returns, and are one of the best and easiest ways to reduce electrical consumption and carbon emissions. Energy-efficient buildings reduce utility bills of customers and provide these benefits over the long term. In 2020, Virginia passed the Virginia Clean Economy Act - a landmark statue that calls for dramatic carbon reduction in light of the threat of climate change and the negative health, economic and environmental impacts (e.g., sea-level rise in Tidewater, more energy-intensive storms) it is already bringing across the Commonwealth. Bringing building codes up to energy efficiency standards laid out by the IECC will help us achieve those carbon reduction goals and create a clean, stable, and more equitable energy economy. Finally, Virginia law requires that the USBC protect the "health, safety and welfare of residents in the Commonwealth" and be "consistent with recognized standards of health, safety, energy conservation and water conservation..." Minimizing up-front costs to home builders must not take precedence over health and welfare of residents, protection of the environment and reduction of carbon pollution, OR consistency with internationally recognized standards such as the IECC, which are designed to promote citizen health and welfare.