Energy Conservation Codes

See Green Homes & the NGBS for information on the National Green Building Standard (NGBS), critiques of and comparisons to the LEED green building rating system, and other links to energy efficiency resources.

Green Building News

(12-16-16) CT works on a new energy strategy as old one misses the mark – CT Mirror; explores the CES four years after Gov. Malloy announces the energy plan.

(9-26-14) Energize Connecticut Videos Address How to Improve Water Heating at Your Home or Small Business..

(6-18-14) Why Look for the NGBS Green Certified Mark? – Cindy Wasser, Home Innovation Research Labs

(5-30-14) Energize Connecticut Video Series Helps You Save Money and Energy at Home; See YouTube video on how it works.

(9-19-13) Energize Connecticut – Save money through energy efficiency programs. See YouTube video on how it works.

ANSI Approves the 2012 ICC 700-National Green Building Standard – from NAHB (1-23-13);

Governor Malloy announces Comprehensive Energy Strategy (CES) (12-14-12) – The state’s Comprehensive Energy Strategy (CES) was announced and released by Governor Malloy on Oct. 5, 2012. The HBRA of CT has reviewed the plan and submitted comments on Dec. 14, 2012. The CES is designed to reduce energy costs, increase choice and reliability and improve the state’s economic competitiveness. The CES presents opportunities for our industry although we offer both cautions and suggestions on how to improve it. See DEEP’s Comprehensive Energy Strategy web page; 184 pg Energy Strategy Plan; and Executive Summary.

Sustainable Forestry Initiative Supports National Green Building Certification for Habitat for Humanity Homes (11-7-11)

The 2009 IECC was approved, with a CT amendment, and became effective on Oct. 7, 2011 – (9-27-11); the 2012 IECC will be approved in 2013.

Massive New Energy Policy and Creation of New Agency – Dept of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) passes (Public Act 11-80 – warning, 280 pages long); see OLR Summary of this act.

Reuse Marketplace – “A free regional network to find, sell, trade, or give away reusable and surplus items that would otherwise be disposed of as trash….” (11-28-12)

The Appraisal Institute has proposed a Residential Green Building Addendum for public consideration – click here; see also from the National Assoc. of Realtors, its resources to help green the MLS. For more on appraisals, click here.

Forest Service Report Documents Environmental Benefits of Wood as a Green Building Material (9-29-11)

Energy Efficiency Tax Credit Extended through 2011 – tax package includes extension of credit, but value is reduced.

NBN article: Appraisers making headway in recognizing value of green home features (5-16-11)

White House Programs to Promote Energy Efficiency Retrofits (from NAHB, 11-15-2010)

Sunlight Construction’s Zero Energy Challenge home featured in Hartford Business Journal (7-26-2010)

Loans for Green Homes (New York Times, 2-3-2010)

Federal Stimulus Package Includes Grant Program to Enhance Building Code Enforcement – grants are tied to enforcement of energy code requirements; from International Code Council (ICC) (3-31-2009)

Expiring Federal Energy Tax Incentive Extended – from NAHB (10-6-2008); including Tax Credits for Existing Home Improvements (11-28-2008) – Remodelers and home owners – take note

Before You Build Green – A Primer to Avoid Liability – from NAHB (10-14-08)

Green Liability Issues – from Shipman & Goodwin LLP (10-21-08)

Study Shows How to Combine SIPs Roofs and Concrete Walls – from NAHB (10-28-2008)

Green Building Code Requirement in CT State Statute

State legislature adopts law to implement a Comprehensive Energy Strategy with Public Act 13-298. See the legislature’s summary of this massive new law.

Environmental groups and Governor Malloy’s 2012 Comprehensive Energy Strategy (see above) recommended adoption of the 2012 IECC by July 1, 2013. However, CT Codes and Standards, having just adopted the 2009 IECC with amendments (see below), began reviewing the 2012 IECC in January 2014. The expected adoption date will be late 2014. See the Home Innovation Research Labs’ analysis of the 2012 IECC.

2009 IECC (International Energy Conservation Code), as amended, was adopted on Sept. 27, 2011, by the legislature’s Regulations Review Committee, and became effective in CT for all building permits filed on or after Oct. 7, 2011 (the date DCS filed it with the Secretary of State’s office). See CT’s amendments to the 2009 IECC; see also, “Highlights of the 2009 IECC” from Peter Harding, Home Energy Technologies LLC.

See also our general State Building Code page.

The state building code statute that references green building construction practices (sec. 29-256a of the General Statutes) needed serious overhaul after its original passage in 2007, which was pushed through the state legislature by environmental advocates and Environment Committee leaders without heeding the warnings of building professionals and code experts. Repeated attempts to convince state legislators that change was necessary led to the adoption of Public Act 09-192.

Background: The green building code statute, adopted as PA 07-242, sec. 78, was confusing at best and caused much disruption in the construction industry and among building code officials. While we support green building practices and urge the adoption of incentives to move the marketplace toward purchasing green buildings, the HBRA of CT opposed this unworkable code statute in 2007.

The effective date of the statute was Jan. 1, 2009. So, we again tried to fix this statute in the 2008 session. The Public Safety & Security Committee did, in fact, adopt a corrective amendment during the 2008 regular session, but the fix was on the Environment Committee’s global warming bill and a floor amendment reversed the fix. With a looming Jan. 1, 2009, deadline for all construction to comply, we and a coalition of industry and code officials tried to fix it again in the November 2008 special session, but could not impress upon legislative leaders the urgency of the cause. An “informal” letter to the Commissioner of the Dept. of Public Safety from the Attorney General’s Office sent about the time of the special session stated that the Jan. 1, 2009, deadline was not effective. However, this letter does not carry the weight of a judicial ruling and the industry and code officials remained perplexed and concerned about the statute’s impact.

Also, given the informal attorney general’s letter and lack of success in the November 2008 special session, the Dept. of Public Safety on Nov. 26, 2008, decided to redraft the proposed code amendments by deleting the green building provisions, offering to work on a new, separate code amendment to try to interepret the confusing language. While this was welcome news, i.e., that the agency understands the issues the industry faces with this statute, the uncertainty of the statute still hung over investment capital decisions. Therefore, the HBRA of CT, industry coalition and code officials tried again in the 2009 regular legislative session to fix this statute. This time successfully. A meeting held on Jan 13, 2009, with the co-chairs and ranking members of the Public Safety Committee was positive, as was the public hearing on RB 6284 on 2-3-09.

Developed by a coalition of industry and building code officials, House Bill 6284 was raised, considered at a public hearing, amended at a subsequent meeting with environmental advocates and passed unanimously by the Public Safety & Security Committee in the CT General Assembly. The bill addressed all parties’ concerns.

  • HBRA of CT’s Testimony in Support of RB 6284 – the bill eventually became Public Act 09-192.
  • HBRA of CT’s 1 pg. Talking Points in Support of HB 6284
  • Link to all testimony filed at the Feb. 3, 2009 public hearing;
  • PA 09-192 (HB 6284) An Act Concerning Green Building Standards and Energy Efficiency Requirements for Commercial and Residential Buildings (as adopted by the legislature);

In 2010, the State Codes & Standards Committee incorporated PA 09-192 into the next State Building Code by adopting a modified version of the 2009 IECC (International Energy Conservation Code), scheduled to become effective in CT in 2011. The proposed 2009 IECC adoption generated some controversy. The CT Fund for the Environment (CFE) proposed 21 amendments to the 2009 IECC, most of which were rejected by Codes & Standards. To see the HBRA’s Jan. 25, 2010, testimony on CFE’s proposed amendments, click here. On Dec. 15, 2010, CFE again questioned whether the 2009 IECC meets the requirements of PA 09-192, delaying adoption even further. To see the HBRA’s Dec. 16 response, click here. Regarding final adoption of the 2009 IECC, see above.

The 30% Solution

At the September 2008 International Code Council (ICC) hearings, a coalition of environmental groups and insulation manufacturers tried, but failed, to once again mandate new energy efficiency requirements that simply don’t work for consumers, home builders and remodelers. The “30% solution” will not be included in the 2009 IRC (International Residential Code).

Straight Talk on the “30% solution” – Article from NAHB on a Sound Energy Efficiency Policy

Why the so-called “30% solution” is no solution at all – see NAHB’s Talking Points, FAQs, and Policy Statement

Climate Change

Co-Founder of GreenPeace explains climate change – 5 min video

Another perspective on climate change – 19 min video

See Co-Founder of GreenPeace explains climate change

Global Warming Primer (from National Center for Policy Analysis)

The Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Connecticut is bringing green residential construction to the mainstream by promoting the NGBS (National Green Building Standard, ICC 700-2012), the first and only ANSI-certified, green building standard in the nation and the Home Innovation Research Labs’ National Green Building Certification ProgramTM as the certification agent.

What is a green home? Green homes incorporate environmental considerations and resource efficiency into every step of the building and development process to minimize environmental impact.

Through Our National Partners, The HBRA Of CT Offers The Following Resources For Anyone Interested In Green Homes:
  • A Certified Green Professional (CGP) designation from NAHB that enables housing industry professionals to gain and market green experience.
  • Promoting the use of the National Green Building Standard
  • Promoting Home Innovation Research Labs’ nationally recognized Green Certification Program
  • Information for members and the public about Connecticut’s Green Building or Energy Efficiency Statutes and Code.

National Green Building Standard (NGBS)

  • ASHRAE Joins NAHB and ICC to Develop 2015 NGBS Version – ASHRAE has joined NAHB and ICC to serve as a co-sponsor of the 2015 version of the ICC/ASHRAE 700 National Green Building Standard (NGBS). Home Innovation Research Labs, as secretariat, for the NGBS welcomes ASHRAE’s sponsorship and participation in updating the NGBS to the 2015. This announcement strengthens NGBS’ position as the leading consensus standard in the industry. Learn more here. The 2015 NGBS Development process is currently underway. Visit
  • The original ICC 700-2008 NGBS was replaced in 2013 by the next generation standard, ICC 700-2012. Many thanks to Peter Fusaro, Preferred Builders, Riverside, CT, for serving on the NGBS Water Efficiency task group, one of seven groups that worked to update the standard to the 2012 version. Pete was elected as the HBRA of CT’s First Vice Chairman & Vice President by its Board of Directors on 9-10-14.
  • The rigorous ICC-700 National Green Building Standard helps you demonstrate your green homes and products to environmentally conscious consumers.
  • Why Look for the NGBS Green Certified Mark? – Cindy Wasser, Home Innovation Research Labs.
  • NGBS Overview – In 2008, the National Green Building Standard (ICC 700-2008) was the first residential green building rating system to undergo the full consensus process and receive American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approval. ANSI approval is critically important approval signifying that the NGBS was developed by a fair and balanced process with all stakeholders participating. ANSI approval has not been granted to date to any other green rating system, including LEED. See the comparison to LEED-H below.
  • The four threshold levels of the NGBS – Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Emerald – allow builders to achieve entry-level green building or the highest level of sustainable “green” building incorporating energy savings of 60% or more. Single-family & multi-family homes, residential remodeling projects, and site developments are all covered in the Standard. The standard covers the following seven areas: lot design and preparation; resource efficiency; energy efficiency; water efficiency; indoor environmental quality and comfort; operation, maintenance, and homeowner education; and global impact. Note: the predecessor voluntary Green Building “Guidelines” were phased out in late 2010, entirely replaced with the National Green Building Standard.
  • See what cities and states have done to incentivize use of the NGBS (9-2011).
  • NGBS Green Certified Products
  • Purchase the National Green Building StandardTM (NGBS) by clicking on the image below. At the BuilderBooks site, scroll down or click on Codes & Regulations and follow the links to purchase:

NGBS Comparison To LEED:

As noted above, the NGBS was the first residential green building rating system to undergo the full consensus process and receive the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approval. ANSI’s approval is critically important to signify that the NGBS was developed by a fair and balanced process with all stakeholders participating. ANSI approval has not been granted to date to any other green rating system, including LEED.

  • 6 Reasons to Choose NGBS over LEED
  • Green Home Rating Systems Comparison– 22 pg report from 2008 comparing NGBS to LEED-H
  • Critique of the LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Rating System – the LEED rating system has not been approved as a standard by any objective, standards development organization (9-2008)
  • US Green Building Council responds to the critique – USGBC is the private group that created the LEED rating system (9-2008)
  • Problems with LEED Standards in City and State Building Codes (Nov. 2008, from ICSC)

Home Innovation Research Lab (HIL) Certification Program

In late September 2008, the HBRA of CT green homes program was one of the first builders associations in the nation to formally affiliate with Home Innovation Lab’s National Green Building Certification Program.

  • Home Innovation Research Labs’ certification programs enable builders and consumers in Connecticut to assure their homes are truly green.
  • The certification program includes an online Green Scoring Tool that allows builders and consumers to gauge how green their projects will be (you can also download at the scoring tool site an Excel spreadsheet to score your homes offline).
  • Verifier training and accreditation is central to the program to ensure that certification is accurate, consistent, neutral, and technically rigorous. Interested in finding or becoming a 3rd party NGBS verifier, click here.
  • Find Your Green Home
  • Builder Marketing Materials

CT’s Green Building/Energy Efficiency Code

See our Green Building Codes & Standards page for information on CT’s green building code statute, plus the so-called “30% Solution” and more.

Other Green & Energy Efficiency Resources

Comprehensive List of Incentives & Policies for Renewables & Efficiency by State (from NC State University)

CL&P Home Energy Solutions

Energy Efficiency & Conservation Programs – An exhaustive report from the State legislature’s Program Review & Investigations Committee on the state’s and utilities’ programs related to energy efficiency and conservation (9-25-2008)

Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA)

Energize Connecticut