[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 71 (Tuesday, April 14, 2015)]
[Pages 19972-19974]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-08599]



Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

[Docket No. EERE-2015-BT-BC-0002]

DOE Participation in Development of the International Energy 
Conservation Code

AGENCY: Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of 

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) participates in the public 
process administered by the International Code Council (ICC), which 
produces the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). DOE 
develops and publishes code change proposals for the IECC, prior to 
submitting them to the ICC, to allow interested parties an opportunity 
to suggest revisions, enhancements and comments. This notice outlines 
the process by which DOE produces its code change proposals for the 
IECC, and otherwise participates in the ICC code development process. 
This process will be used when DOE participates in the development of 
the 2018 IECC and other codes developed by the ICC.

DATES: DOE is requesting written comments on the proposed process by 
which DOE will develop code change proposals for submission to the ICC 
by May 14, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Any comments submitted must identify the Notice for DOE 
Participation in Development of the International Energy Conservation 
Code, and provide docket number EERE-2015-BT-BC-0002. Comments may be 
submitted by using either of the following methods:
    1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=EERE-2015-BT-BC-0002. Follow the instructions for 
submitting comments.

[[Page 19973]]

    2. Email: [email protected]. Include EERE-2015-BT-BC-0002 
in the subject line of the message.
    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name 
(U.S. DOE) and docket number. Additional information is included in the 
following sections.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeremiah Williams; U.S. Department of 
Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building 
Technologies Office, EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, 
DC 20585; Telephone: (202) 287-1941; Email: 
[email protected].
    For legal issues:
    Kavita Vaidyanathan; U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the 
General Counsel, Forrestal Building, GC-33, 1000 Independence Avenue 
SW., Washington, DC 20585; Telephone: (202) 586-0669; Email: 
[email protected].


Table of Contents

I. Introduction
    A. Statutory Authority
    B. Background
II. DOE Participation in the ICC Development Process
    A. Technical Analysis
    B. Proposal Development
    C. ICC Public Hearings
III. Public Participation in the Development of DOE Proposals
    A. Stakeholder Input
    B. Ex-Parte Guidance

I. Introduction

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) supports the International 
Energy Conservation Code (IECC) by participating in the code 
development processes administered by the International Code Council 
(ICC). As a participant in this process, DOE considers and evaluates 
concepts to be submitted as proposed changes to the IECC (``code''). 
This Notice outlines the process by which DOE produces code change 
proposals and participates in the ICC code development process, 
including the 2018 IECC, as well as other codes published by the ICC.

A. Statutory Authority

    Title III of the Energy Conservation and Production Act, as amended 
(ECPA), establishes requirements related to energy conservation 
standards for new buildings. (42 U.S.C. 6831-6837) Section 307 (b) of 
ECPA directs DOE to support voluntary building energy codes by 
periodically reviewing the technical and economic basis of the 
voluntary building codes, recommending amendments to such codes, 
seeking adoption of all technologically feasible and economically 
justified energy efficiency measures, and otherwise participate in any 
industry process for review and modification of such codes. (42 U.S.C. 

B. Background

    The DOE Building Energy Codes Program mission supports the 
development and implementation of model building energy codes and 
standards to achieve the maximum practicable and cost-effective 
improvements in energy efficiency, while providing safe, healthy 
buildings for occupants.\1\ Part of this mission is directed at the 
IECC, which serves as a model energy code, and is adopted by many U.S. 
states, territories, the District of Columbia, and localities across 
the nation. The ICC administers development of the IECC through a 
public process, with revisions taking place every three years under the 
ICC governmental consensus process. As part of this process, any 
interested party can propose changes to the IECC, with proposed code 
changes subject to the bylaws, policies and procedures defined by the 

    \1\ See http://www.energycodes.gov/about.
    \2\ See http://www.iccsafe.org/cs/codes/pages/default.aspx.

II. DOE Participation in the ICC Development Process

    The Department seeks to advance energy efficiency by cost-
effectively strengthening the code and clarifying provisions to be more 
easily understood, implemented and enforced. DOE is directed to 
participate in the development of model building energy codes, such as 
the IECC, for residential and commercial buildings. DOE participates in 
the ICC development process by:
     Conducting technical analyses to identify concepts for 
     Developing and submitting proposals based on concepts 
deemed credible and cost-effective; and
     Supporting proposals through the ICC public hearing 

A. Technical Analyses

    In preparation for the development of code change proposals, DOE 
conducts analyses to ensure that its proposals are technologically 
feasible and economically justified. DOE analyses will identify 
anticipated energy and economic savings impact associated with its 
energy savings concepts. This ensures that DOE proposals are cost-
effective as defined by established, publicly reviewed DOE 

    \3\ See http://www.energycodes.gov/development.

    Analyses performed by DOE or its contractors for the purposes of 
developing code change proposals are technical in nature. DOE is not 
obligated to conduct analyses for outside parties, but reserves the 
right to do so where it believes they will support DOE statutory 
obligations. In conducting such analyses, DOE does not represent or 
endorse particular individuals or organizations. DOE also cannot enter 
into joint code change proposals with the exception of proposals 
submitted jointly with another federal agency.

B. Proposal Development and Submission

    Satisfactory concepts will be turned into draft code change 
proposals. To allow interested parties to comment, DOE will post these, 
along with supporting data and analyses, prior to submitting them to 
the ICC. DOE will modify its proposals as comments and new information 
become available; modified versions, with preceding versions of each 
proposal archived, and changes annotated between each version will also 
be posted. Final proposals will be clearly identified, and will be 
posted prior to submission to the ICC. All posted information will be 
available at http://www.energycodes.gov/development.

C. ICC Public Hearings

    DOE maintains organizational membership with the ICC. As a 
Governmental Member, DOE intends to participate as defined by the 
guiding ICC rules and procedures, including participation in the ICC 
public hearings and exercising assigned voting privileges. At ICC 
hearings, DOE:
     Will present and defend its own proposals; and
     May present the results of technical analyses it has 
conducted, including analyses of other parties' proposals when it 
believes the development process will be improved by providing such 
    The presentation of a DOE proposal or technical analysis does not 
constitute an endorsement of any particular proposal or product. DOE 
may alter its proposals based on the procedural events of the official 
ICC hearing process without seeking further public comment. DOE may 
also seek additional public comment, such as in cases when a particular 
proposal is significantly modified for resubmission, following the ICC 
Committee Action Hearings.

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III. Public Participation in the Development of DOE Proposals

A. Stakeholder Input

    The public will have the following opportunities to provide DOE 
with input:
    1. Comments on posted proposals and
    2. Participation in public meetings.
    Public Comment on DOE Proposals: DOE intends to make information 
available to the general public as it comes available. As information 
will be updated continually throughout the process, interested parties 
are urged to closely monitor the DOE Building Energy Codes Program Web 
page and stakeholder mailing lists to remain current with DOE 
activities. As materials will be posted over an extended period of 
time, the Web site will provide additional instructions on submitting 
comments on DOE proposals, including associated comment deadlines.
    DOE will publish a notice in the Federal Register when its draft 
proposals and supporting materials begin to become available for public 
review. Note that DOE will not provide responses to individual public 
comments, but will consider all information received, and will 
incorporate all appropriate information into updated versions of its 
proposals. All DOE proposals and supporting documentation will be made 
available for review at http://www.energycodes.gov/development.
    Participation in Public Meetings. DOE intends to convene one or 
more public meetings during each code cycle to present its proposals 
and supporting information, and to receive questions and feedback from 
interested and affected stakeholders. Such meetings will also be used 
to encourage and facilitate the free exchange of ideas, with the intent 
of improving proposals from all parties. DOE will both moderate and 
participate in these meetings. Note that DOE will not attempt to bring 
stakeholders to a consensus; rather DOE's role will be to increase 
understanding of the concepts discussed. These meetings will also be 
announced in the Federal Register.

B. Ex-Parte Guidance

    DOE anticipates that it or its contractors may be contacted 
regarding code concepts, ideas or change proposals prior to and during 
the code hearings. While DOE code change proposals submitted to the ICC 
are not regulations, DOE will follow its ex parte communication policy 
for such communications prior to the code hearings. DOE guidance on ex 
parte communications was published on January 21, 2009 (74 FR 4685).\4\ 
As described in the guidance, individuals or entities that communicate 
with DOE or its contractors prior to the code hearing must provide a 
memorandum summarizing the communication, which will be included in the 
public docket consistent with the ex parte guidance.

    \4\ See http://energy.gov/gc/downloads/guidance-ex-parte-communications.

    During each ICC hearing process, DOE will maintain a published Web 
site containing submitted DOE proposals, which will also contain a link 
directed to the Web site and materials maintained by the ICC. DOE 
recognizes that the code development and public hearing process is 
based on processes established by the ICC, which do not constitute ex 
parte communications, and therefore, any discussions of the process at 
code hearings do not need to follow the guidance.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on April 7, 2015.
David Cohan,
Manager, Building Energy Codes Program, Building Technologies Office, 
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
[FR Doc. 2015-08599 Filed 4-13-15; 8:45 am]