Over the past three decades, the Unicameral has periodically, but infrequently, updated N.A.C. Title 107. In 1980, LB 954 was passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor to promote the conservation of energy resources and to provide for public health, safety and welfare. It directed the State Energy Office to enforce the Lighting and Thermal Standards portion of the law based on the ASHRAE/IES Standard 90-1975, the first building energy efficiency standards in the state.
The original legislation has since been modified by LB 2 (1981), LB 799 (1982), LB 124 (1983), LB 315 (1985), LB 622, (1997), LB 1135 (2000), and LB 888 (2004). The 1985 update referenced the 1983 MEC, and the 2000 update referenced the 1998 IECC. In 2004, LB 888 made significant changes in the state’s Thermal and Lighting Standards (renamed the Nebraska Energy Code), spurring a complete revision of the Rules and Regulations which govern the Nebraska Energy Code. This bill updated the code to the 2003 IECC.
2011 Update: In April 2011, the state's Unicameral Legislature approved LB 329, adopting the 2011 Nebraska Energy Code and updating the code’s references to the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2007. The changes became effective August 27, 2011.
In 2004, LB 888 modified the Nebraska Energy Code to include new and renovated state buildings with the code’s purview. This reference will be updated to the 2009 IECC when LB 329 takes effect on August 27, 2011.
NEO will analyze the latest editions of the model energy codes – the 2012 IECC and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2010 – for possible future codes for state construction some time after the 2012 IECC is published in July 2011.
Local Adoption Spotlight: Some key jurisdictions have chosen to go beyond the state code. When the state energy code was based on the 2003 IECC before the 2011 udpate, the city of Omaha adopted the 2006 IECC for nonresidential buildings and the energy efficiency section (Chapter 11) of the 2006 IRC for residential buildings in 2008. The city of Lincoln has adopted Chapter 11 of the 2006 IRC with local amendments for residential buildings. It has also adopted the 2006 IBC for commercial buildings, but the energy efficiency section (Chapter 13) has been deleted and will be covered by the state’s regulations. Both updates were adopted in 2008 (they have since been superceded by the 2011 Nebraska Energy Code based on the 2009 IECC).
While the state is not likely to update the Nebraska Energy Code to the 2012 IECC, NEO expects most of the leading permit-issuing jurisdictions – Omaha, Lincoln, and Douglas, Sarpy, and Lancaster Counties – to at least investigate the costs and benefits of above-code adoptions. One jurisdiction, Douglas County, has already requested more information about the 2012 IECC from NEO.