ICC Board Agrees with NAHB on Codes Appeal

Codes and Standards

The ICC Board of Directors Wednesday agreed with NAHB's appeal related to a proposed change to the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) that dealt with the efficiency of water heaters. NAHB and others argued, and ICC agreed, that the changes would have preempted federal law or would have exposed adopting jurisdictions to potential litigation related to the proposed requirements.

The ICC Board decided to reject RE126-19 (and RE107-19) on the basis that "potentially preempted provisions in the I-Codes is inconsistent with the spirit, intent and mission of the Code Council." In addition to NAHB, the American Gas Association, American Public Gas Association and American Heating Refrigeration Institute filed similar appeals.

RE126-19 was a proposal submitted by the National Resources Defense Council that put additional requirements on water heating products. NAHB and the other appellants believed the requirements were inconsistent with the National Appliance and Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) by attempting to institute requirements inconsistent with federal law and would put ICC and adopting entities at risk of legal action should the proposed requirements be instituted.

While the ICC disagreed with one point in the appeal that its development process was violated, the Board did agree that incorporating requirements contrary to federal law would be problematic. Accordingly, the Board determined that the approved language from RE107-19 and RE126-19 will not be included in the 2021 International Residential Code (IRC) or IECC.

This was the first of three rulings by the Board on NAHB appeals. The final ICC Board decision on the last two appeals related to scope and intent and the codes development process and voting eligibility are expected around mid-October.

For more information about the codes appeals, visit nahb.org.

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