On April 7, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) released the language for Minnesota’s impending updated residential energy code. This long-awaited language was the product of Minnesota’s residential energy code advisory committee—which reached consensus in early 2012—and the Construction Codes Advisory Council, which approved the language in late 2012. The public now has a chance to comment on the proposed residential energy code for 30 days. After the public comment period ends, Minnesota law requires 180 days between official adoption and enforcement.
Some new provisions in Minnesota’s residential energy code will include increased wall, ceiling, and foundation insulation, improved efficiency in windows and mechanical and ventilation equipment, and mandatory blower door testing for every new home to make sure a house’s walls, attic, and windows do not exceed a certain level of leakiness.
Minnesota’s new residential energy code will reflect a slightly amended version of the International Energy Conservation Code’s (IECC) 2012 version. Its adoption means a 20-percent increase in energy efficiency for new home construction projects. Fresh Energy is pleased that Minnesota will become the third state in the Midwest to adopt the IECC 2012, joining Illinois and Iowa.
Currently, the commercial energy code is experiencing a compatibility issue with the fire code and its public release has been delayed. DLI is in the process of updating the entire state building code.