Building Energy Standards (Vermont)

From Open Energy Information

Last modified on February 12, 2015.

Rules Regulations Policies Program

Place Vermont
Name Building Energy Standards
Incentive Type Building Energy Code
Applicable Sector Commercial, Low-Income Residential, Residential
Eligible Technologies Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building
Active Incentive Yes
Implementing Sector State/Territory
Energy Category Energy Efficiency Incentive Programs

Code Change Cycle Both the residential and commercial code will be updated every three years.
Commercial Code 2011 Vermont Guidelines for Energy Efficient Commercial Construction based on 2009 IECC with amendments to incorporate ASHRAE 90.1-2007 and state-specific amendments.

Residential Code 2011 Vermont Residential Building Energy Standards (RBES), based on the 2009 IECC with state specific amendments, mandatory statewide; can use REScheck to show compliance.

Date added to DSIRE 2006-07-27
Last DSIRE Review 2013-07-29
Last Substantive Modification
to Summary by DSIRE

References DSIRE[1]


Much of the information presented in this summary is drawn from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program and the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP). For more detailed information about building energy codes, visit the DOE and BCAP websites.

The 2011 Vermont Commercial Building Energy Standards took effect on January 3, 2012. The guidelines are based on the 2009 IECC, with amendments to incorporate ASHRAE 90.1-2007 with several strengthening amendments from the 2012 IECC. The new guidelines apply to all commercial construction, including alterations, renovations, repairs, and additions.

The Vermont Residential Building Energy Standards (RBES) apply to all new homes (and additions over 500 square feet) built after July 1, 1998. The Vermont Legislature enacted RBES into law in 1997 (21 V.S.A. § 266). The RBES were revised in 2004 and 2011. See the updated Vermont Residential Energy Code Handbook for revisions.

In June 2013, Vermont enacted a Stretch Code for residential buildings to achieve greater energy savings than the RBES. The Department of Public Service must determine what is included in the code. Once a code is adopted, municipalities will have the option of adopting the code as part of their land use bylaws.

In March 2008, Vermont enacted legislation (S.B. 209) requiring the DPS to update the state's RBES and Commercial Building Energy Standards (CBES) "promptly" after the issuance of updated standards for residential and commercial construction under the international energy conservation code (IECC). In addition, SB 209 established several statewide building efficiency goals:

  • To improve substantially the energy fitness of at least 20% of the state’s housing stock by 2017 (more than 60,000 housing units), and 25% of the state’s housing stock by 2020 (approximately 80,000 housing units);
  • To reduce annual fuel needs and fuel bills by an average of 25% in the housing units served;
  • To reduce total fossil fuel consumption across all buildings by an additional 0.5% each year, leading to a total reduction of 6% annually by 2017 and 10% annually by 2025; and
  • To save Vermont families and businesses a total of $1.5 billion on fuel bills over the lifetimes of the improvements and measures installed between 2008 and 2017.

In May 2009, Vermont passed the Vermont Energy Act of 2009 (H. 446) directing the DPS to amend RBES to comply with the 2009 edition of the IECC and to amend the CBES to ensure that design and construction comply with ANSI/ASHREA/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007 or the 2009 edition of IECC--whichever is greater. The DPS has until January 1, 2011 to complete the required rulemaking.

Incentive Contact

Contact Name Barry Murphy
Department Vermont Department of Public Service


Authorities (Please contact the if there are any file problems.)

Authority 1: H.B. 520
Date Enacted 2013-06-17

Authority 2: 21 V.S.A. § 266

Authority 3: 21 V.S.A. § 268

  • Incentive and policy data are reviewed and approved by the N.C. Solar Center's DSIRE project staff.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1  "Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)"