Commercial Building Energy Standards

On This Page:
2015 CBES ♦ 2011 CBES ♦ Training ♦ Background ♦ Update ♦ Other Resources


This web page contains information about the statewide Commercial Buildings Energy Standards (CBES) for Vermont.

The CBES has been revised as of November 24, 2014. Revisions take effect March 1, 2015 and apply to construction commenced on and after the date they became effective. CBES applies to most new commercial construction, including additions, alterations, renovations, and repairs. Where a building permit has been issued or applied for prior to March 1, 2015  this construction shall have the option of complying with either the 2011 CBES or the 2015 CBES

Free hard copies of the updated Vermont Commercial Energy Codebook are now available. Electronic copies are also available for purchase through the International Code Council (ICC) website. Please contact the Energy Code Assistance Center on 1-855-887-0673 for free hard copies.



The CBES was enacted into law in 2006 (30 V.S.A. § 53). It is the energy code for all commercial buildings and residential building 4 stories or greater above grade in Vermont, and took effect January 1, 2007.

On March 1, 2015 an update to CBES takes effect, which applies to all new commercial building construction, additions, alterations, renovations, and repairs. The 2015 Vermont Commercial Building Energy Standards is available as the energy code handbook; it is a standalone document for the State of Vermont based upon amendments to the International Energy Conservation Code® 2015 Supplement. The CBES also allows an alternative compliance path of ASHRAE 90.1 2013 with some Vermont specific requirements outlined in the energy code handbook. A limited number of hard copies are available upon request from the Public Service Department and a free for viewing electronic copy is available on the ICC website.

30 V.S.A. §53 requires certification that both the design AND the construction of a commercial building is in compliance with the CBES. The design shall be certified by the primary designer; if a licensed professional engineer or a licensed architect is not involved in designing the project, certification shall be issued by the builder. The construction of a commercial building shall be certified as compliant with CBES by the party having primary responsibility for coordinating the construction of the building, such as a general contractor or construction manager. In the absence of such a party, the owner must certify compliance. The certifying person may reasonably rely on one or more supporting affidavits received from subcontractors or others engaged in the construction or design of the commercial building affirming that the portions of the building constructed by them were properly certifiable. Certifications must be accompanied by affidavits certifying that the building was designed and constructed in substantial compliance with the requirements of the CBES. To meet certification requirements, a CBES Certificate and a CBES Affidavit must be completed and sent to the Department of Public Service along with the appropriate supporting documentation. Further, certification must be permanently affixed to the outside of the heating or cooling equipment, to the electrical service panel located inside the building, or in a visible location in the vicinity of one of these three areas.


2015 Vermont Commercial Building Energy Standards: Compliance Documents & Tools

  • 2015 Draft Vermont Commercial Building Energy Standards (view only PDF version):

    This "Draft" version represents the final code language as adopted by Vermont. The PSD is currently working with the ICC to complete the official formatted version of the CBES. The only changes that will be made between this final 'Draft' and the official copy will be to formatting, typos, numerical errors and internal references.  We will make the final version available as soon as its completed. Copies of this draft can be provided if requested. 

  • 2011 CBES Certificate, Affidavit, and Instructions (not yet availible)
  • COMcheck Software: (not yet availible)
  • COMcheck-Web: (not yet availible)



2015 Commercial Energy Code Workshops

These are three-hour training sessions that will provide an overview of the recent changes to Vermont’s Commercial Energy Code.  Effective March 1st, the 2015 Vermont Commercial Building Standards (CBES) supersedes the 2011 version, and includes new sections on applying the code to existing and historic buildings. Major changes and their impact on projects will be discussed, along with a review of opportunities for exceeding code requirements. These workshops are intended for anyone involved in commercial design and construction, will provide 3 hours of AIA continuing education (LU/HSW) credits, and are free to attend. Seats are limited, however, so please RSVP per each session contact listed below to indicate your planned attendance.


CBES Training Presentation


2015 CBES Workshops Schedule

Tuesday, 2/24 – 9:00a-12:00p - Pittsford, Vermont Fire Academy, 93 Davison Drive

RSVP by 2/23/15 to: Efficiency Vermont,, 888-921-5990


Thursday, 2/26 – 1:00p-4:00p - S. Burlington, Windjammer Conference Center, Montreal Room, 1076 Williston Road

RSVP by 2/23/15 to: Sarah Dunn at Curtis Lumber  [note: RBES is scheduled in the morning]


Wednesday, 3/4 – 9:00a-12:00p - Barre, Division of Fire Safety, 1311 U.S. Route 302 (entrance in back of building)

RSVP by 3/2/15 to: Efficiency Vermont,, 888-921-5990


Tuesday, 3/10 – 9:00a-12:00p - Brattleboro, Marlboro Graduate Center, Room 2E, 28 Vernon Street

RSVP by 3/6/15 to: Guy Payne at the Sustainable Energy Outreach Network,, 802-376-9262



2011 Vermont Commercial Building Energy Standards: Compliance Documents & Tools

The 2005 Affidavit is being accepted by the Public Service Department while the compliance software is being updated. This information will be updated with the 2011 Affidavit and instructions upon the availability of the Vermont compliant 2011 COMCheck software.

  • 2011 Vermont Commercial Building Energy Standards (view only PDF version): A limited amount of hard copies are available. Contact  the Energy Code Assistance Center on 1-855-887-0673.
  • 2011 CBES Certificate, Affidavit, and Instructions
  • COMcheck Software: Free downloadable software developed by the Department of Energy that can be used to   demonstrate code compliance.
  • COMcheck-Web: Free online software developed by the Department of Energy that can be used to demonstrate code compliance. There have been errors reported within this software. Please use the downloadable version for COMcheck compliance path.

Energy Code Update Process

Vermont law requires that the commercial energy code (CBES) be updated every three years, this process has now begun and is expected to continue through 2014. On June 17, 2013, the Vermont legislature adopted Act 89, which clarifies the applicability of Vermont’s commercial (and residential) building energy codes to mixed-use buildings and includes various amendments to promote compliance with those codes, such as using existing State and local permit processes to encourage compliance.



Other Resources

For more information contact Barry Murphy, 802-828-3183