Colorado Wants Local Adoption of IECC and New Regs on Products

Colorado IECC and product standards

A bill in Colorado will require local jurisdictions to use one of the model energy codes published within the last decade; another considers updating energy and water efficiency standards for some products.

In mid-March, was introduced and assigned to the Energy & Environment
Committee. The bill calls for local jurisdictions to adopt one of the three most recent versions of the IECC as a minimum code, when they update any other building code.

This is notable because Colorado is a home rule state. While this bill would allow jurisdictions to retain some freedom regarding their energy bill, it would also require them to use one of the model energy codes that were developed and published within the last decade.

In late March, the House Energy and Environment committee approved HB 1231. The bill would set up-to-date energy and water efficiency standards for 15 commercial and residential products that are not already regulated under the federal government. The standards are based on state, federal Energy Star and WaterSense specifications, and industry standards in most cases or, where a standard is not incorporated by reference, the standard is specified by statute.

The standards apply to new products sold or installed in Colorado and are phased in over a period of 3 years, with general service lamps covered beginning in 2020, air compressors and portable air conditioners covered beginning in 2022, and all other listed products covered beginning in 2021.

The penalty for the sale of a noncomplying product after the effective date of the applicable standard is defined as a deceptive trade practice under the “Colorado Consumer Protection Act.”

While some of the referenced standards apply to appliances found in restaurants and commercial kitchens (fryers, steam cookers, etc.), here are some of the standards that could be applicable to residential dwellings:

• Starting in 2020, general service lamps must meet or exceed a lamp efficacy of 45 lumens per watt

• Starting in 2021:

  • Computers and computer monitors must meet the requirements of Section 1605.3
    (v) of Title 20 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR).
  • Kitchen faucets and aerators must have a max flow rate of 1.8 gpm, with an optional temporary flow rate of 2.2 gpm.
  • Residential ventilating fans must meet Energy Star v3.2 specs.
  • Spray sprinkler bodies that are not excluded from the WaterSense v1.0 spec must include an internal pressure regulator and must meet the water efficiency, performance criteria and other requirements of that spec.

Interestingly, the standards would not apply to “products installed in mobile manufactured homes at the time of construction, products designed expressly for RVs, or products already in inventory on or before the effective date for that product.”

The bill passed the House Energy and Environment committee with a vote of 7-4. As of early April, it was still in the House and had received its third reading. To review the bill, please click here.