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Building Energy Codes

The state of Delaware has adopted national and international energy conservation standards to guide statewide rules and regulations for the building sector. The DNREC Division of Climate, Coastal, & Energy issues and regularly updates regulations based on these standards, which come from the International Code Council (ICC) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

2019 Regulation Update

An update to the state energy code regulations is currently under development. A Start Action Notice (SAN #2019-04), issued in April 2019, details the proposed schedule of activities. The Division of Climate, Coastal, & Energy is reviewing the latest ICC and ASHRAE codes and will propose changes at a public hearing this fall.


The state first established a minimum statewide code for energy conservation in 1979 with passage of legislation requiring local governments to meet the energy conservation requirements of a national model energy conservation code. Over the years, the legislature has updated the requirement to match changes in national and international model codes.

In 2009, the General Assembly approved an updated Code for Energy Conservation (16 Del.C. § 7602) which tied Delaware building and plumbing codes to the International Energy Conservation Code published by the International Code Council (ICC) and the Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings published by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

The legislation requires the Division of Climate, Coastal, & Energy to review and update the state’s regulations every three years.

The Current Delaware Code

In 2014, the Division promulgated the Regulations for State Energy Conservation Code (7 DE Admin Code 2101), based on the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code and the 2010 edition of the ASHRAE Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings.

The code requires that a permanent certificate be posted on or in the electric panel. The certificates can be created using a Code Certificate template designed for printing on Avery or Uline labels.

Enforcement and compliance with the energy code is determined at the local level, and varies depending on the county or municipality. The US Department of Energy provides a suite of compliance checklists and evaluation tools.

The Delaware Energy Code Coalition

The Division of Climate, Coastal, & Energy created the Delaware Energy Code Coalition in 2011, following a first recommendation in its Strategic Compliance Plan. Delaware was the first state to create a such a coalition. The Coalition brings together a diverse group of state and local stakeholders responsible for advising the Division on energy code implementation, infrastructure, updates, and compliance. The members include representatives of homebuilders, building code officials, contractors, architects, the Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility, the Delaware ASHRAE chapter, the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) and the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP).

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