In 1979 the Delaware legislature passed Senate Bill 321, which established a minimum code for energy conservation. The legislation provided that no county or municipality may adopt a building or plumbing code that contradicts the energy requirements of the Model Code for Energy Conservation in New Building Construction (MCEC) (a model code based on ASHRAE/IES 90-1975.)
Chapter 76 of Title 16 of the Delaware Code sets the minimum provisions for energy codes adopted and enforced by the Levy Court of Kent County and the County Councils of New Castle County and Sussex County. State legislation (Senate Bill 83) adopted the 1993 Model Energy Code (MEC) statewide in 1995.
Effective July 1, 2004, the state has adopted the 2000 IECC for new residential dwellings three stories or less in height. For all other buildings, the 2000 IECC and its 2001 supplement (with its reference to ASHRAE 90.1-1999) were in effect.
After the passage of SB 59 in July 2009 mandating the adoption and enforcement of the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2007 statewide, the new codes became effective July 1, 2010 (an update from the previous code based on the 2000 IECC). Title 16, Chapter 76 of the Delaware Code now requires the Delaware Energy Office to review the Delaware State Energy Code every three years for potential updates to the most recent version of the IECC and ASHRAE Standard 90.1.
Enforcement is currently the responsibility of local jurisdictions, but the Delaware Energy Office was charged with drafting rules to broaden the state’s role in assisting in the implementation. The DEO partnered with BCAP and Newport Ventures to offer six code training sessions throughout the state in May and June 2010.
See the Green Buildings Initiatives tab below for information on Delaware's zero net energy requirements for buildings.