Internationally, code officials recognize the need for a modern, up-to-date energy conservation code addressing the design of energy-efficient building envelopes and installation of energy-efficient mechanical, lighting and power systems through requirements emphasizing performance. The International Energy Conservation Code®, in this 2015 edition, is designed to meet these needs through model code regulations that will result in the optimal utilization of fossil fuel and nondepletable resources in all communities, large and small.

This code contains separate provisions for commercial buildings and for low-rise residential buildings (3 stories or less in height above grade). Each set of provisions, IECC‒Commercial Provisions and IECC Residential Provisions, is separately applied to buildings within their respective scopes. Each set of provisions is to be treated separately. Each contains a Scope and Administration chapter, a Definitions chapter, a General Requirements chapter, a chapter containing energy efficiency requirements and existing building provisions applicable to buildings within its scope.

This comprehensive energy conservation code establishes minimum regulations for energy-efficient buildings using prescriptive and performance-related provisions. It is founded on broad-based principles that make possible the use of new materials and new energy-efficient designs. This 2015 edition is fully compatible with all of the International Codes® (I-Codes®)published by the International Code Council (ICC)®, including: the International Building Code®, International Existing Building Code®, International Fire Code®, International Fuel Gas Code®, International Green Construction Code®, International Mechanical Code®, ICC Performance Code®, International Plumbing Code®, International Private Sewage Disposal Code®, International Property Maintenance Code®, International Residential Code®, International Swimming Pool and Spa Code®, International WildlandUrban Interface Code® and International Zoning Code®.

The International Energy Conservation Code provisions provide many benefits, among which is the model code development process that offers an international forum for energy professionals to discuss performance and prescriptive code requirements. This forum provides an excellent arena to debate proposed revisions. This model code also encourages international consistency in the application of provisions.


The first edition of the International Energy Conservation Code (1998) was based on the 1995 edition of the Model Energy Code promulgated by the Council of American Building Officials (CABO) and included changes approved through the CABO Code Development Procedures through 1997. CABO assigned all rights and responsibilities to the International Code Council and its three statutory members at that time, including Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc. (BOCA), International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) and Southern Building Code Congress International (SBCCI). This 2015 edition presents the code as originally issued, with changes reflected in the 2000 through 2012 editions and with changes approved through the ICC Code Development Process through 2014. A new edition such as this is promulgated every 3 years.

This code is founded on principles intended to establish provisions consistent with the scope of an energy conservation code that adequately conserves energy; provisions that do not unnecessarily increase construction costs; provisions that do not restrict the use of new materials, products or methods of construction; and provisions that do not give preferential treatment to particular types or classes of materials, products or methods of construction.


The International Code Council maintains a copyright in all of its codes and standards. Maintaining copyright allows the ICC to fund its mission through sales of books, in both print and electronic formats. The International Energy Conservation Code is designed for adoption and use by jurisdictions that recognize and acknowledge the ICC’s copyright in the code, and further acknowledge the substantial shared value of the public/private partnership for code development between jurisdictions and the ICC.

The ICC also recognizes the need for jurisdictions to make laws available to the public. All ICC codes and ICC standards, along with the laws of many jurisdictions, are available for free in a nondownloadable form on the ICC’s website. Jurisdictions should contact the ICC at to learn how to adopt and distribute laws based on the International Energy Conservation Code in a manner that provides necessary access, while maintaining the ICC’s copyright.


The International Energy Conservation Code is kept up to date through the review of proposed changes submitted by code enforcing officials, industry representatives, design professionals and other interested parties. Proposed changes are carefully considered through an open code development process in which all interested and affected parties may participate.

The contents of this work are subject to change through both the code development cycles and the governmental body that enacts the code into law. For more information regarding the code development process, contact the Codes and Standards Development Department of the International Code Council.

While the development procedure of the International Energy Conservation Code assures the highest degree of care, the ICC, its members and those participating in the development of this code do not accept any liability resulting from compliance or noncompliance with the provisions because the ICC does not have the power or authority to police or enforce compliance with the contents of this code. Only the governmental body that enacts the code into law has such authority.

Code Development Committee Responsibilities (Letter Designations in Front of Section Numbers)

In each code development cycle, proposed changes to the code are considered at the Committee Action Hearings by the applicable International Code Development Committee. The IECC‒Commercial Provisions (sections designated with a "C" prior to the section number) are primarily maintained by the Commercial Energy Code Development Committee. The IECC‒Residential Provisions (sections designated with an "R" prior to the section number) are maintained by the Residential Energy Code Development Committee. This is designated in the chapter headings by a [CE] and [RE], respectively.

Maintenance responsibilities for the IECC are designated as follows:

[CE] = Commercial Energy Code Development Committee
[RE] = Residential Energy Code Development Committee

For the development of the 2018 edition of the I-Codes, there will be three groups of code development committees and they will meet in separate years. Note that these are tentative groupings.

Group A Codes
(Heard in 2015, Code Change Proposals
Deadline: January 12, 2015)
Group B Codes
(Heard in 2016, Code Change Proposals
Deadline: January 11, 2016)
Group C Codes
(Heard in 2017, Code Change Proposals
Deadline: January 11, 2017)
International Building Code
–Fire Safety (Chapters 7, 8, 9, 14, 26)
–Means of Egress
(Chapters 10, 11, Appendix E)
–General (Chapters 2-6, 12, 27-33,
Appendices A, B, C, D, K)
Administrative Provisions (Chapter 1 of
all codes except IRC and IECC, administrative
updates to currently referenced
standards, and designated definitions)
International Green Construction Code
International Fuel Gas Code International Building Code
(Chapters 15-25, Appendices F, G,
H, I, J, L, M)
International Existing Building Code International Energy Conservation Code
International Mechanical Code International Fire Code
International Plumbing Code International Residential Code
–IRC-Building (Chapters 1-10,
Appendices E, F, H, J, K, L, M, O, R,
S, T, U)
International Private Sewage
Disposal Code
International Wildland-Urban Interface
International Property Maintenance
International Residential Code
–IRC-Mechanical (Chapters 12-24)
(Chapters 25-33, Appendices G, I,
N, P)
International Swimming Pool and Spa
International Zoning Code

Note: Proposed changes to the ICC Performance Code will be heard by the code development committee noted in brackets [ ] in the text of the code.

Marginal Markings

Solid vertical lines in the margins within the body of the code indicate a technical change from the requirements of the 2012 edition. Deletion indicators in the form of an arrow (➡) are provided in the margin where an entire section, paragraph, exception or table has been deleted or an item in a list of items or a table has been deleted.

A single asterisk [*] placed in the margin indicates that text or a table has been relocated within the code. A double asterisk [**] placed in the margin indicates that the text or table immediately following it has been relocated there from elsewhere in the code. The following table indicates such relocations in the 2015 edition of the International Energy Conservation Code.

C501 C101.4.1
C501.6 C101.4.2
C502 through C504 C101.4.3
C505 C101.4.4
C503.2 C101.4.5
C402.1.1 C101.5.2
C402.3 C402.2.1.1

R501 R101.4.1
R501.6 R101.4.2
R502 through R504 R101.4.3
R505 R101.4.4
R503.2 R101.4.5
R402.1 R101.5.2
R503.1.1.1 R402.3.6

Italicized Terms

Selected terms set forth in Chapter 2, Definitions, are italicized where they appear in code text. Such terms are not italicized where the definition set forth in Chapter 2 does not impart the intended meaning in the use of the term. The terms selected have definitions that the user should read carefully to facilitate better understanding of the code.