Commercial Building Energy Standards

  • The Commercial Building Energy Standards (CBES) have been revised as of November 24, 2014. Revisions took effect March 1, 2015 and applies 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 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 to receive a free hard copy.


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 from the Energy Code Assistance Center on 1-855-887-0673 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.

2018 Building Energy Code Update

As per the CBES statute (30 V.S.A. § 53) the PSD is required to review and update the Commercial Building Energy Standards soon after the publication of the national model code. This took place late 2017 and as a result the PSD has begun the stakeholder process to review the model code and develop Vermont specific modification. Information on this process and a schedule of meetings and other resources and be found on the Building Energy Standards Update Webpage.

2015 Vermont Commercial Building Energy Standards: Compliance Documents & Tools

*Note: if you are having trouble accessing the free viewable version of either RBES or CBES online, click on this link or go to and search for "Vermont". Then click on "FREE VIEW" under the icon for the 2015 RBES or 2015 CBES.


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 1, 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.

2011 Vermont Commercial Building Energy Standards: Compliance Documents & Tools

The 2005 Affidavit is being accepted by the Department of Public Service 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 at 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.

Other Resources

For more information contact Barry Murphy at or 802-828-3183.