A new Louisiana bill will help improve energy efficiency codes throughout the state.

House Bill (HB) 803, which was signed by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards on June 22, 2022, transfers the responsibility of commercial energy code enforcement from the state government to third-party providers and to local municipal/parish governments. The statewide adoption of the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and the 2021 International Residential Code (IRC) Chapter 11 Energy Efficiency had been unanimously approved by the Louisiana legislature.

“Adopting and implementing modern building codes and standards plays a vital role in achieving a safe, affordable and sustainable built environment. Energy codes are an important contributor to individual and community resilience,” said Code Council CEO Dominic Sims. “They help avoid wasted energy and save consumers money on their utility bills. The Code Council commends Louisiana for its proactive leadership.”

The adoption of the new legislation follows the U.S. Department of Energy’s introduction of a grant program that helps assist with the implementation of updating energy codes. The Energy Code Implementation Program was established in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) passed in November 2021, which provides $225 million over five years.

HB 803 also establishes a temporary “Energy Code Commission” that will feature 16 members. The members will be responsible for reviewing and amending the 2021 editions of the IRC Chapter 11 and IECC for residential, commercial and state-owned buildings. Additionally, the commission will consider amendments to the 2021 energy code provisions.

The commission will dissolve upon the completion of the adoption of the 2021 IECC. The code’s ultimate statewide effective date is July 1, 2023.