Last year, the Legislature adopted the 2003 International Energy Conservation Code as the Nebraska Energy Code. The Nebraska Energy Code will apply to all buildings — including homes — on which construction is initiated on or after July 1, 2005.
Nebraska homeowners will save money because the changes in the state’s building code will reduce energy use. Based on a University of Nebraska study, new homeowners in Omaha can expect to save $48 in the first year after construction, while new homeowners in McCook, Norfolk or Chadron will likely save between $102-$124 the first year after construction because of reduced energy use.
Code Will Apply to New Buildings and Some Renovations
The Code will also apply to renovations which cost more than fifty percent of the replacement cost of the building and additions to existing buildings. The Nebraska Energy Code replaces the Model Energy Code, 1983 Edition that has been used for the past twenty years.
Builders may comply with the Code in a variety of ways. There are a number of options contained in the Code for residential construction. Copies of the 2003 International Energy Conservation Code may be purchased by contacting the International Code Council at 1-800-786-4452. Two software programs, REScheck and COMcheck, make residential and commercial energy code compliance easy. Both REScheck and COMcheck are available for free at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building Energy Code Website.
Local jurisdictions may adopt and enforce an energy code that is equivalent to the Nebraska Energy Code. The Nebraska Energy Office will enforce the Code in other areas of the state. Contact your local codes or building office, to find out if the city or county has made any modifications to the new Nebraska Energy Code.
Specific tools for code implementation are available at the Energy Office’s web site.