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.




Below are links to the first draft of the proposed updates to the Residential and Commercial Building Energy Standards. Additionally a webinar and two public meetings have been scheduled, details are listed in the Scheduled Meetings section.

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

Please note that email comments regarding these drafts are due by October 18, 2018.

Proposed Residential Building Energy Standard (RBES)
Proposed Commercial Building Energy Standard (CBES)

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:

  • There are no additional public meetings scheduled at this time.

Previous Meeting Resources

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 March 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