Energy Efficiency Standards for New Federal Low-Rise Residential Buildings

DOE recently updated the requirements for energy efficiency in newly constructed federal buildings. The new rule, 10 CFR 435, Subpart A: Energy Efficiency Standards for New Federal Low-Rise Residential Buildings, applies to residential buildings (one- and two-family dwellings as well as multifamily buildings three stories or less in height) for which design for construction began on or after August 10, 2012.

The rule updates the baseline standard in 10 CFR 435, Subpart A to the 2009 IECC. New federal residential buildings are required (effective August 10, 2012) to achieve the 2009 IECC level of energy efficiency or 30% greater than the 2009 IECC when doing so is cost-effective within the lifecycle of the building. If the additional 30% savings is not cost-effective, an agency must evaluate the cost-effectiveness of alternate designs at successive decrements below 30% (e.g., 25%, 20%) to identify the most cost-effective design for that building. Lifecycle cost-effectiveness is to be established using the methodology defined in 10 CFR Part 436, Subpart A. The rule does not change the existing requirement that buildings for which design for construction began on or after January 3, 2007, but before August 10, 2012, are required to comply with the 2004 IECC or 30% better than the 2004 IECC, if life-cycle cost-effective.

After a regulatory action has been issued, Section 6(a)(3)(E) of EO 12866 requires agencies to identify in a complete, clear, and simple manner, the substantive changes between the draft submitted to The Office of Management and Budget's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for review and the action subsequently announced, and identify those changes in the regulatory action that were made at the suggestion or recommendation of OIRA. This OMB compare document is intended to comply with this requirement.