North Carolina adopts Energy Rating Index as compliance option for the state’s 2018 residential energy code
The Energy Rating Index is a cost-effective compliance option for builders to use to meet the state’s new residential energy code
RALEIGH, N.C. (August 7, 2018) – North Carolina Building Performance Association (NCBPA), the state’s trade association for building performance companies and professionals, announced today the availability of the Energy Rating Index (ERI) as a cost-effective option for builders to meet the state’s new 2018 residential energy code.
The ERI option allows builders to use a HERS Index Score to demonstrate that a new home meets or exceeds minimum energy code requirements. The passing ERI value varies depending on climate zone and whether on-site renewable energy is used. A third-party home energy rating company conducts the rating and the ERI documentation is provided to the code official for approval. Click here to watch a brief video with more information on the process.
The ERI option became available on July 1st for new home permits ahead of the full transition to the new code on January 1st of 2019. The new code is based on the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) with weakening amendments, making it more similar to the 2012 IECC. The ERI option is the most significant change from the current residential energy code.
NCBPA was one of several energy efficiency advocates to champion members of the Energy Ad Hoc Committee and the NC Building Code Council (NCBCC) to include the ERI option in the new code. Since its approval, NCBPA has worked with the NC Department of Insurance (NCDOI) to develop the policies and procedures that builders, code officials and rating companies will use to complete ERIs.
“The ERI provides an easy, expedited and cost-effective performance-based compliance path that further adds to the many benefits of HERS ratings,” said Ryan Miller, NCBPA’s Executive Director. “Builders will save time and money, code officials will spend less time on the job and consumers will benefit from the third-party energy efficiency verification process,” said Miller.
For the first time, North Carolina’s residential energy code references the use of on-site renewable energy systems with the ERI table. NCBPA was one of many organizations to advocate for a strong energy efficiency “backstop” in how the ERI value is calculated. The NC backstop, based on 2012 IECC, prevents a home from passing energy code with solar PV or other renewable systems alone; energy efficiency minimum requirements must be met.
“I think this is a win-win for code officials and builders,” said Ryan Johnson, President of Revolution Homes, a custom home builder and NCBPA member based in Raleigh. “As homes become more complicated, the HERS Index and rating companies become more valuable. Because their established standards are already integrated into our construction systems and processes, transitioning to the next energy code will be easier and more cost effective for us,” said Johnson.
While the ERI is now available as an option, NCBPA seeks to make it a requirement after two to three successful years of use across the state. North Carolina’s new residential energy code is in effect through 2024 with opportunities to make incremental changes during the term.
North Carolina produces the fourth most HERS Ratings in the country with more than thirty percent of new single and multifamily homes being rated annually. Earlier in 2018, NCBPA identified a 9.5% sale price premium for homes with HERS ratings and certifications for energy efficient, green and high performance certifications. NCBPA’s Miller said that he expects HERS rating companies to increase hiring in 2019 to meet increased demand from builders looking to save time and money by using the ERI option.
Click here to view the current version of the new “2018 NC Energy Conservation Code – Proposed” that references the ERI information on page 251. A clean and final version of the code will be published by the NC Department of Insurance (DOI) in the coming weeks.
Visit www.BuildingNC.org to learn more about NCBPA and to request an educational workshop that focuses on the ERI option at your company or in your region.
About North Carolina Building Performance Association
North Carolina Building Performance Association is a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) trade association serving North Carolina’s building performance companies and professionals with education, member services and industry advocacy. The association proudly represents North Carolina’s building performance industry, which generates more than $15 billion in annual revenue, includes more than 1,250 companies and employs more than 50,000 workers.