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Two Opportunities to Vote for Sustainable Building Codes

Action required by August 21 to participate in the September IECC Online Governmental Consensus Vote (OGCV) and to vote for improved showerhead efficiency.

Amy Boyce, Executive Director, Energy-Efficient Codes Coalition, a project of the Institute for Market Transformation , reminds you of the upcoming opportunity to vote for more sustainable building codes. This requires action between now and Saturday, August 21.

Most of the work of the Energy-Efficient Codes Coalition is focused on the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), but there are elements in other International Codes that affect energy use as well. Two proposals now pending to improve showerhead efficiency in the International Plumbing Code (IPC) and International Residential Code (IRC-P) are poised to have a significant impact on energy and carbon emissions if passed.

Showerhead efficiency was previously addressed directly in the IECC development cycle leading up to the 2018 IPC, and, in fact, was voted to be included in the code; however, scope concerns resulted in that vote being rescinded by the ICC Board. 

As outlined in NRDC’s Ed Osann’s blog post earlier this year, More Energy Savings at Stake When Plumbing Code Gets Updated , and citing data from a November 2020 report by ACEEE and the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, capping new showerheads at 2.0 gpm by 2024 could avoid 38 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions in the US through 2050, not to mention the substantial water savings that would also occur.

Your voice can make a difference. Your votes in the most recent IECC development cycle resulted in the 2021 IECC (Residential) that DOE has determined to be 9% more efficient than the 2018 version. While many of us were disheartened by the removal of governmental members’ vote on the energy code, there is still an opportunity to make a difference here, and to have your vote count.

The Public Comment Hearing (PCH) will take place in person, September 21-28, with these proposals likely to be heard on the first day. The Online Governmental Consensus Vote (OGCV) will take place approximately two weeks later. In order to be eligible to vote, new or revised applications for voting representatives must be submitted 30 days prior to the voting event. Thus, the deadline for registration for both in-person and online voting is this Saturday, August 21. More information can be found at https://support.iccsafe.org/.

Here are the showerhead proposals for review: 

Code

Proposal

Subject

Requirement

Recommendation

For Public Comment Hearing

International Plumbing code (IPC)

P87-21 Part I

Showerhead efficiency

2.0 gallons per minute maximum

Approve as Modified

International Residential Code (IRC-P)

P87-21 Part II

Showerhead efficiency

2.0 gallons per minute maximum

Approve as Modified by Public Comment