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Title: The Marriage of Residential Energy Codes and Rating Systems: Conflict Resolution or Just Conflict?

After three decades of coexistence at a distance, model residential energy codes and residential energy rating systems have come together in the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code. At the October, 2013, International Code Council’s Public Comment Hearing, a new compliance path based on an Energy Rating Index was added to the IECC. Although not specifically named in the code, RESNET’s HERS rating system is the likely candidate Index for most jurisdictions. While HERS has been a mainstay in various beyond-code programs for many years, its direct incorporation into the most popular model energy code raises questions about the equivalence of a HERS-based compliance path and the traditional IECC performance compliance path, especially because the two approaches use different efficiency metrics, are governed by different simulation rules, and have different scopes with regard to energy impacting house features. A detailed simulation analysis of more than 15,000 house configurations reveals a very large range of HERS Index values that achieve equivalence with the IECC’s performance path. This paper summarizes the results of that analysis and evaluates those results against the specific Energy Rating Index values required by the 2015 IECC. Based on the home characteristics most likely to result in disparities betweenmore » HERS-based compliance and performance path compliance, potential impacts on the compliance process, state and local adoption of the new code, energy efficiency in the next generation of homes subject to this new code, and future evolution of model code formats are discussed.« less
Publication Date:
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Report Number(s):
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Resource Relation:
Conference: ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings: The Next Generation: Reaching for High Energy Savings, August 17-22, 2014, Pacific Grove, California, 1-326 - 1-338
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Washington DC, United States(US).
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
Residential, Energy, Rating systems, HERS, 2015 IECC