September 29, 2015


Chris Potter, 202-525-2883, x311 /


Washington, DC—September 29, 2015—Today at the International Code Council’s (ICC) Annual Conference in Long Beach, Calif., the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) and ICC celebrated the winners of the 2015 Standard Bearers Awards for Excellence in Energy Code Compliance. This national award program, now in its fourth year, honors states, cities, towns, and individuals who have gone above and beyond to raise compliance with building energy codes—and by doing so, helping improve the efficiency of America’s new and existing homes using cost-effective, practical, and innovative strategies.

The winners of the 2015 Standard Bearers Award are:

  • Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Illinois Energy & Recycling Office
    State Jurisdiction Winner
  • Washington, D.C.
    Local Jurisdiction Winner
  • Steven E. Rinehart, Harker Heights, Texas
    Energy Code Leader

Strong building energy codes are one of the most effective and affordable tools to guarantee that buildings save owners money on energy and water bills and provide a safe, healthy, and comfortable environment for all occupants. In fact, a taskforce led by IMT found that every $1 spent on code compliance efforts yields up to $6 of energy savings. In addition to saving on utility bills, building or renovating a home to comply with modern energy codes helps prevent costly problems such as ice damming in colder climates and mold growth in warmer parts of the country.

While several states and counties have adopted stronger energy codes in recent years, the funding and emphasis placed on efforts to ensure builders, owners, and designers comply with those codes are often lacking. Efforts to raise the bar on sustainability that include training, outreach, implementation, and enforcement need better support from government and industry alike.

Fortunately, as this year’s winners of the Standard Bearers Award have proven, there are departments and building officials who are championing this important issue and are finding ways to raise compliance rates despite constraints on their budgets and time. The Standard Bearers Award recognizes their achievements.

The efforts pushed forward by this year’s winners include training more than 6,000 construction industry professionals on energy code compliance and conducting a baseline assessment against the 2009 and 2012 International Energy Conservation Codes (Illinois); creating a Green Building and Sustainability Division that provides leadership for the review and inspection of projects built under energy and green codes (Washington, D.C.); and offering a free, ICC-approved “Builders Survival Training Series” for home building association members that demonstrates how to build efficient homes and comply with modern codes. (Steven E. Rinehart, Energy Code Leader).

“ICC is proud to recognize our members today who are improving the design and construction of buildings through better energy code compliance,” said International Code Council CEO Dominic Sims, CBO. “These Standard Bearers provide leadership in forging a more sustainable built environment and we’re pleased to partner once again with IMT in presenting this award.”

In many jurisdictions and cities across the U.S., energy code compliance levels are below 50 percent, and in some places 100 percent of the buildings are not compliant—meaning many buildings are using more energy than they were designed to use.

“Improving energy code compliance nationwide would reap enormous benefits, as we’ve estimated that bringing a year’s worth of new residential and commercial construction up to code in the U.S. could save $189 million. What’s more, this equates to a lifetime savings of up to $37.1 billion for just five years’ worth of new buildings. We cannot afford to ignore these savings,” said Cliff Majersik, Executive Director of IMT. “We applaud the great work by leading jurisdictions and individuals who are committed to tackling the root causes for non-compliance.”

A panel of past award winners and foremost experts on building codes and energy efficiency chose the winners of this year’s Standard Bearers Award, including members of ICC, the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP), and the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP). IMT awarded $1,500 to each recipient to attend the 2015 ICC Annual Conference to be honored at today’s ICC Awards Luncheon and participate in this year’s code hearings in person. Winners will also be profiled on IMT and ICC’s websites, in newsletters, articles, and future case studies.


ABOUT IMT: The Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization promoting energy efficiency, green building, and environmental protection in the United States and abroad. IMT’s work addresses market failures that inhibit investment in energy efficiency and sustainability in the building sector. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter at @IMT_speaks.

ABOUT ICC: The International Code Council is a member-focused association. It is dedicated to developing model codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance process to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures. Most U.S. communities and many global markets choose the International Codes.

The International Codes, or I-Codes, published by ICC, provide minimum safeguards for people at home, at school and in the workplace. The I-Codes are a complete set of comprehensive, coordinated building safety and fire prevention codes. Building codes benefit public safety and support the industry’s need for one set of codes without regional limitations. For more information, visit


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