Building Energy Standards Update

Residential and Commercial Building Energy Standards Have Been Updated

An update to the Residential and Commercial Building Energy Standards has been completed. The Energy codes were formally adopted on December 18, 2019. The PSD is pleased to announce that the effective date for the new code will be September 1, 2020.

2020 RBES Training Videos

Part 1 - Background Information

Part 2 - Code Updates

2020 CBES Training Videos

C402 - Building Envelope

C403 - Mechanical

C404 - Service Hot Water

C405 & C406 - Electrical & Lighting & Additional Package Options

C407 - Building Commissioning

C501 - Existing Buildings

Adopted Rule Documents 

Updated 2020 Residential Building Energy Standards (RBES) 

Updated 2020 Commercial Building Energy Standard (CBES) 

Previous Meetings and Public Hearings

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.

Useful Links