News Brief

COVID Delays Energy Code Adoption in Some States

Despite years of preparation, some states are putting off implementation of planned energy codes.

At least four states—Connecticut, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Washington—have delayed the effective dates of new energy codes due to process disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

There was no pattern to be found among those that have delayed, according to Eric Lacey of the Responsible Energy Codes Alliance. For example, they weren’t necessarily the hardest-hit states, nor those that were earlier in the process. “Massachusetts has been on the books and ready to go for probably almost a year now,” said Lacey. It was supposed to go into effect August 8, but Lacey says the date is likely to be extended.

Other states, including Nebraska, New York, and Virginia, have gone ahead with implementing their energy codes as planned.

“We don’t require the General Assembly to act in order to update the codes in Virginia,” noted Cindy Davis, deputy director of the state’s Division of Building & Fire Regulations. Because of this, her department doesn’t have to worry about the legislative session and has been able to continue with its energy code process through virtual working group meetings. Also, the state has an online public commenting system that accepts and tracks each code proposal. “In retrospect, we are very fortunate to have that online process in place. It allowed us to continue the process without much of a hiccup.”

Despite a three-month pause requested by many stakeholders due to the pandemic, Virginia’s energy code will go into effect as planned in mid-2021.

Published August 3, 2020

Melton, P. (2020, July 27). COVID Delays Energy Code Adoption in Some States. Retrieved from

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