The first Arkansas Energy Code was enacted in 1979 and was based on the 1977 Model Code for Energy Conservation in New Building Construction (MCEC), which references ASHRAE/IES Standard 90-1975. Legislation was approved in January 1993 giving the AEO the authority to adopt new standards through a rule-making process. The AEO adopted a code in October 1994, referencing ASHRAE 90.1-1989 for commercial buildings, and based on the 1992 MEC for residential buildings. The code was editorially revised on May 3, 1995.
The 2004 Arkansas Energy Code, based on the 2003 IECC and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2001, became effective October 1, 2004.
2011-12 Update: On January 13, 2012, the Administrative Rules and Regulations Subcommittee of the Arkansas General Assembly approved the Arkansas Energy Office (AEO) 2011 proposal to update the state’s commercial energy code. The code update rule has renamed the 2004 Arkansas Energy Code as the Arkansas Energy Code for New Building Construction. Effective January, 1, 2013, it updates the commercial provisions to reference ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007 and Chapter 5 of the 2009 IECC (the previous 2004 state code is based on ASHRAE 90.1-2001 and the 2003 IECC), while the residential standards will continue to reference the 2003 IECC. AEO has also partnered with the state chapter of the USGBC to provide four training sessions on the new commercial code in 2012.
Arkansas has already begun taking several actions to improve the state’s energy code policies similar to recommendations developed by BCAP in the state’s Gap Analysis Report. In March 2011, the state legislature created a regulatory update process by authorizing AEO to promulgate rules to update the state’s energy codes. As directed by the state legislature, AEO began implementing the Rules for Sustainable Energy-Efficient Public Buildings on January 1, 2011 (see below).
Public Buildings: On April 14, 2009, Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe signed Act No. 1494 into law. As directed by the state legislature, the Arkansas Energy Office began implementing the Rules for Sustainable Energy-Efficient Public Buildings in January 1, 2011. It establishes performance criteria and goals for sustainable and energy-efficient new and majorly renovated public buildings based on ASHRAE 90.1-2007. Buildings must be designed, constructed, and certified to at least 10% reduction below the baseline energy consumption determined with the performance rating method of Appendix G of ASHRAE 90.1-2007.