The State of Iowa’s Energy Conservation Code Requirements
Based on Iowa Administrative Code, any newly built structure must conform to Iowa’s energy conservation code before OMU can permanently connect gas or electric service for heating or cooling purposes. According to the Iowa Public Safety Department, this requirement has been in effect since 1981. Effective January 1, 2010, the State of Iowa adopted the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code for new construction. All new construction intended primarily for human occupancy must meet these minimum requirements. The rational is that it is easier and less expensive to build energy conservation into a structure rather than retrofit it at a later date.
OMU’s Application for Heating or Cooling, used by OMU Electrical and Natural Gas Departments, explains the insulation differences between the previously adopted Iowa energy conservation code and the 2009 IECC for new residences. The 2009 IECC also sets minimum standards for high-efficiency lighting, HVAC duct joint sealing and building envelop infiltration control. Energy conservation requirements of commercial structures are also included in the 2009 IECC. OMU policy states that before electric or natural gas service can be permanently connected, either OMU must inspect the structure for insulation level compliance during construction or a certified energy auditor or government agency must certify that the structure is in compliance.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), through the Building Energy Codes Program (BECP) Resource Center, provides a comprehensive collection of information, resources, and technical assistance designed to answer questions and address issues related to energy codes.