Codes + Standards, Craig’s Lighting Articles

ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR: Outcome-Based Energy Codes

My lighting column for the November 2021 issue of ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR tackles outcome-based energy codes.


Codes are complex and sometimes confusing, sometimes requiring interpretation by the authority having jurisdiction. Because there is no national code, the country is a patchwork of codes. Energy codes only regulate design efficiency and are therefore limited to being predictive of energy savings based on estimates and modeling.

Going back more than a decade, some policymakers began working to simplify energy codes while addressing their shortcomings. Instead of a prescriptive-based (design within limitations, with some mandatory items) or performance-based (intensive modeling) compliance path, codes would evolve to be outcome-based, using a building’s actual measured/metered energy performance as the compliance metric.

It’s not an easy nut to crack, but the benefits continue to attract the interest of policy makers, particularly in California.

Click here to check it out.


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