Financial implications of IECC code adoption varies greatly depending on the scope of authority defined by any authorizing language.
States are classified on a spectrum as either a ‘Home Rule’ state or a ‘Dillon Rule’ state. In a Home Rule state, the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) is authorized to adopt codes and standards—without the state or in contradiction to the state. However, in Dillon Rule states, the state is the AHJ. Nevada is a Dillon Rule state with limited home rule for some local government functions, and building code adoption is currently a home rule arrangement.
For example, in Colorado, a Home Rule state, legislation was passed in 2019 that requires local jurisdictions to adopt and enforce one of the three most-recent versions of the IECC upon updating a local building code. The fiscal impact to the state is minimal, however there is no information on the impacts to the local governments or AHJs.
In Utah, HB 218 (2019) adopted the 2015 IECC for residential buildings and 2018 version for commercial buildings. The fiscal note for HB 218 showed $0 expected cost impact to state government, local government, businesses, and individuals. There are two staff members listed as building code specialists, but the budget is unclear (DAS).
In Montana, there were further expenses to the state based on the adopted code 2012 IECC and the stretch code created through SB 49 (2009) for new State-owned and -leased buildings under the state’s High-Performance Building Standards. These buildings must exceed the IECC most recently adopted by Montana’s Department of Labor & Industry (DLI) by 20% to the extent it is cost effective. The fiscal note for SB 49 showed expenditure of $62,306. This is for 1 full-time equivalent (FTE) to continue work on the high-performance building standard, as well as $2,200 in initial-year operating expenses to implement. The Energy Bureau within Montana Dept of Environmental Quality has two branches: Energy Efficiency and Compliance Assistance (EECA), and Energy Planning and Renewables. EECA shows energy code staffing of at least 1 and up to 7 (possibly 3 energy engineers, 1 small business ombudsmen, 2 energy resource professionals).
The fiscal impact falls largely to the AHJs that have the responsibility of adopting the codes. The AHJs must adopt the family of international construction codes, including the IECC, each adoption cycle due to their nature of working in conjunction with each other. They must also implement and enforce the code in their jurisdictions, which requires staff and funding.
While it is difficult to assess the impact on Nevada, implementation of energy codes does require resources for ongoing administration. Further analysis is required and AHJs should be included in that analysis to identify specific resource requirements.