DOE Issues Preliminary Determination on ASHRAE 90.1-2019

On April 21, 2021, DOE issued a preliminary determination that Standard 90.1-2019 will achieve greater energy efficiency in buildings subject to the code. DOE estimates national savings in commercial buildings of approximately:

  • 4.7 percent site energy savings
  • 4.3 percent source energy savings
  • 4.3 percent energy cost savings
  • 4.2 percent carbon emissions

If the DOE makes a final affirmative determination, and it likely will, states will have two years to certify that they have reviewed the provisions of their commercial building code regarding energy efficiency, and, as necessary, updated their codes to meet or exceed the updated edition of Standard 90.1.

Since 1992, 42 U.S.C. 6833 has required the DOE to evaluate new versions of ASHRAE 90.1 or its successor to determine if adopting the new version as a nationwide minimum standard would improve energy efficiency in commercial buildings. If it does, “each State shall, not later than 2 years after the date of the publication of such determination, certify that it has reviewed and updated the provisions of its commercial building code regarding energy efficiency in accordance with the revised standard for which such determination was made. Such certification shall include a demonstration that the provisions of such State’s commercial building code regarding energy efficiency meet or exceed such revised standard.”