The first Hawaii energy code was based on ASHRAE/IES Standard 90-1975. It was mandated by state legislation in 1978 and adopted by three of the four counties in the state in 1978 and 1979. Although the law was mandated, there was no penalty provision. The HMEC was formalized in 1993, and is based on ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-1989 with modifications to accommodate Hawaii's climate. Changes include the deletion of all space-heating requirements and changes in the building envelope and water-heating requirements. In 1994 the legislature enacted Act 168 requiring counties to adopt efficiency requirements based on ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-1989 by October 24, 1994, for new and renovated commercial buildings.
As of March 6, 2006, the Hawaii DBEDT/Energy Efficiency is in the process of developing the "Tropical Energy Code" which will draw from the Guam Energy Code, ASHRAE 90.1-2004 and design considerations unique to the tropics. Please contact Howard Wiig for any questions.
On May 21, 2007, Governor Linda Lingle signed SB795 SD2 HD1 CD1, which created a nine-member Hawaii Building Code Council to establish a state building code based on the International Building Code.
On October 13, 2009, the Hawaii Building Code Council approved the 2006 IECC with state-specific amendmentsto update the Hawaii State Energy Conservation Code (3 HAR 181) after hearings in each of the state's four counties (Oahu, Maui, Hawaii, Kauai) on September 30, 2009. The code was filed as an Administrative Directive and signed by then-Gov. Linda Lingle. It was filed with the Office of the Lt. Governor on May 13, 2010, and became effective 10 days later on May 24, 2010.
2009 IECC Update: The Hawaii Building Code Council has developed a proposal to update the Hawaii State Energy Conservation Code to the 2009 IECC with substantial state-specific strengthening amendments intended to serve as a model for warm weather areas worldwide. Depending on when the state's four counties introduce bills to adopt the code locally, the effective in each county will probably be early or late spring of 2012. Publicity and training for all interested parties will take place before adoption.
State-owned Buildings Code: Enacted in June 2009, HB 1464 addressed energy efficiency requirements for existing public buildings. By the end of 2010, state agencies must evaluate the energy efficiency of all existing public buildings that are larger than 5,000 square feet or use more than 8,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually. Opportunities for increased energy efficiency must be identified by setting benchmarks for these buildings using Energy Star Portfolio Management or another similar tool. Buildings must be retro-commissioned every five years. Further guidance on the requirements described in HB 1464 will be provided by January 1, 2010.
According to USGBC, on June 26, 2006, Governor Lingle signed HB #2175, thus requiring each state agency to design and construct buildings to meet the LEED Silver certified level, or a comparable standard. The law applies to all new state-owned construction of 5,000 square feet or greater, including K-12 public schools.