Except for state-owned buildings, Texas had no mandatory statewide energy code before 1999 for either residential or commercial buildings. Texas is a home rule state, generally leaving the authority to adopt most policies to local jurisdictions. No attempt had been made to adopt mandatory energy codes on a statewide basis. At the time, the state simply encouraged voluntary code adoption and implementation by training code officials and homebuilders.
In June 2001, Texas adopted a mandatory statewide energy code -- the Texas Building Energy Performance Standards (34 TAC §19.53) -- based on the 2000 IECC including the 2001 supplement through Senate Bill 5 (SB 5). This code became effective for residential and commercial buildings statewide on August 13, 2002. For state-funded buildings, the Texas State Energy Conservation Office (SECO) adopted ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2004.
The 2006 IECC was not adopted because SECO received a letter from ESL-Texas A&M (which was charged in the adoption bill by state legislators to provide technical support) about concern with the stringency of that version, when applied in Texas.
A push to update the 2009 model codes began that year in 2009. On March 9, 2009, a bill was introduced in the Texas State Legislature that would adopt the energy efficiency provisions of the 2009 IRC for single-family homes and the 2009 IECC for all other residential, commerical, and industrial construction, but this bill ultimately failed. On April 17, 2009, a notice for public comments for persons interested in the 2009 IECC was published in the Texas Register.
As published in the June 4, 2010 Texas Register, the Texas State Energy Conservation Office (SECO) officially adopted a rule (proposed March 26) to update the state’s energy codes codified in 34 TAC §19.53. The rule updated the Texas Building Energy Performance Standards (which had been based on the 2000 IECC with the 2001 Supplement) to:
- For single family homes – the energy efficiency provisions (Chapter 11) of the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC), effective January 1, 2012.
- For all other residential, commercial, and industrial buildings – the 2009 IECC, effective April 1, 2011.
Visit the SECO Texas code history page for a complete summary of state code rulemaking details.