In 1977 the state legislature adopted what is now Chapter 57 of the Private and Special Laws, which directed the Office of Energy Resources (OER) to establish the Maine Commission on Energy Efficiency Building Performance Standards (the Commission). The Commission was directed to investigate energy building standards and make recommendations to the next biennial legislature.
In 1979 PL 503, "The Energy Building Performance Standards Act," established 10 MRSA, Chapter 214, which directed the OER to adopt voluntary energy standards for residential and commercial new construction and substantial renovations. In 1980 the legislature adopted the voluntary standards into law.
On January 1, 1990, the Office of Energy Resources was closed and its responsibilities and some of the staff transferred to the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development.
After the legislative establishment of the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code (MUBEC) in April 2008 by LD 2257 (enacted as P.L. 699), the Bureau of Building Codes and Standards (within the Department of Public Safety) has issued regulations setting the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2007 as the mandatory energy standards for residential, commercial, and public buildings statewide.
The MUBEC is effective June 1, 2010. There will a six-month transition period during which towns may still enforce their previous codes. Among the new rules:
- Towns with a population of 2,000 that had a building code on August 1, 2008 will be required to begin enforcing the code December 1, 2010.
- Towns with a population of 2,000 that did not have a building code on August 1, 2008 will be required to begin enforcing the code December 1, 2012.
- Towns with a population under 2,000 are not required to enforce the code.
- The MUBEC replaces all local municipal building codes. Cities and towns may not amend any MUBEC provisions, even to make it more stringent.
- Enforcement is the responsibility of local jurisdictions. Municipalities without a CEO certified by the State Planning Office may authorize a Third-party Inspector to conduct compliance inspections and prepare a report to be given to the municipal CEO as an application for the Certificate of Occupancy.