Building Energy Standards Update

Residential and Commercial Building Energy Standards Being Updated in 2018

An update to the Residential and Commercial Building Energy Standards is currently under way. Look for new information on this page over the next several months about the code update process, notice of stakeholder meetings, invitations to provide feedback and input, and draft versions of the proposed updates to the Standards.


These rules have been submitted to Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (LCAR) for adoption by the state.

LCAR is due to meet on Thursday September 5th, from 10 a.m. - 12 or 1 p.m. Meetings are held in the Ethan Allen Room on the second floor of the State House, behind the cafeteria. Full copies of the rules as submitted to LCAR are below.

CBES Rule Documents

RBES Rule Documents


Proposed Commercial Building Energy Standard (CBES) Outdated (See LCAR rule for most recent)


Scheduled Meetings

Another way to provide input on the draft Building Energy Standards is by direct participation in a webinar or attendance at one or both of the scheduled public hearings. Details follow:

Public Hearing on Proposed RBES and CBES: 6/21/19

The formal rulemaking process has begun. On May 16 the proposed code was submitted to the Secretary of State, the proposed rules will be posted for public comment, with a public hearing to occur on June 21 in room 11 of the statehouse. The residential code public hearing shall take place in the morning and the commercial code public hearing in the afternoon

Previous Meeting Resources

Public Hearing 6/21/19

This public hearing took place on June 21st in Room 11 of the Vermont State House in Montpelier.

The Residential portion of this public hearing took from 8 am until 11 am with discussion of the overview that began at 9am.

The Commercial portion of this public hearing took place from 11:30 am until 3:30 pm with discussion of the overview that began at 12 noon.

The public comment period was open through July 10, 2019.

Rule Documents as submitted to the Secetary of State May 16, 2019

Proposed Public Review 2019 Residential Building Energy Standard (RBES) (4/26/2019)

Proposed Public Review 2019 Commercial Building Energy Standard (CBES) (5/16/2019)

The Department wants to hear from the public. Comments on these draft documents should be submitted via email as directed below:

In partnership with the Efficiency Excellence Network (administered by Efficiency Vermont) and Building Safety Association of Vermont.

Project Timeline

  • Public input period July through October 2018
  • Draft Residential Building Energy Standards and Commercial Building Energy Standards to be available online or by request September 2018
  • Adoption of new Standards and stretch code July 2019 (estimated)
  • New Standards and stretch code effective January 2020 (estimated)

Drafts for Public Input


The most current versions of the Residential (RBES) and Commercial (CBES) Building Energy Standards became effective March 1, 2015. The current Standards were based on the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), 2015. The IECC released updated standards earlier in 2018. Vermont statutes require that revisions be made promptly after the issuance of updated standards for residential construction under the IECC. In 2013, the Vermont legislature in Act 89 required the adoption of a stretch code for residential buildings to achieve greater energy savings than the baseline RBES. The Department, in partnership with the Natural Resources Board (NRB), also developed stretch guidelines for commercial buildings. Residential or commercial buildings that comply with the stretch code or guidelines, respectively, are presumed to comply with the energy conservation criterion 9(F) of Act 250. Municipalities have the option to adopt and include the stretch language for either residential or commercial buildings, or both, in the municipality’s land use bylaws.

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