2012 North Carolina Energy Conservation Code (NCECC)
Residential Code: The 2012 North Carolina Energy Conservation Code (NCECC) is based on the 2009 IECC with substantial strengthening amendments.
Commercial Code: The 2012 North Carolina Energy Conservation Code (NCECC) is based on the 2009 IECC with substantial strengthening amendments. ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007 is an acceptable compliance path through Chapter 5 of the 2009 IECC.
Application: Mandatory statewide. Local jurisdictions may adopt more stringent codes.
Approximate Stringency: More stringent than the 2009 IECC.
Effective Date: January 1, 2012. Mandatory compliance became effective March 1, 2012.
Background: On June 23, 2011, Gov. Beverly Perdue signed into law legislation updating the North Carolina Energy Conservation Code (NCECC). The new code achieves significant energy savings in residential and commercial buildings beyond the state’s current energy code (based on the 2006 IECC). The new rules will be effective January 1, 2012, with mandatory compliance beginning March 1, 2012.
The product of over two years of legislative and regulatory efforts, a version of the 2012 NCECC was originally approved in December 2010 by the North Carolina Building Code Council (NCBCC) as part of a series of construction code updates.The code update, however, was delayed indefinitely by objections to certain provisions by the North Carolina Rules Review Commission and petitions submitted appealing the Code Council’s actions.
On April 17, a bill (SB 708) was introduced in the North Carolina General Assembly to enact an updated 2012 NCECC. The Senate approved the bill unanimously on June 8, and the House followed on June 15.
An analysis of the 2012 NCECC by Mathis Consulting identifies the major energy efficiency enhancements of the new code:
- Residential: Significant improvement was made in the areas of envelope leakage reduction, duct tightness, window performance, wall insulation, and lighting efficiency. The 2012 NCECC also offers a voluntary appendix that defines a High Efficiency Residential Option (HERO) for those builders and contractors that are seeking to deliver a home that achieves 30 percent energy savings beyond the current NCECC. This alternative offers prescriptive paths that require slightly better insulation, fenestration, air sealing, equipment, and lighting packages.
- Commercial: Like the residential portion of the code, the commercial provisions emphasize building envelope enhancements. The new minimum requirements raise energy efficiency levels through slightly higher R‐values for ceilings, walls, floors and slabs, slightly better window performance with lower U-factor and SHGCs standards, and increased reliance on efficient lighting and other improvements. The new code also requires designers to select at least one of six additional energy efficiency options for every building.
Information last updated March 1, 2012