The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently took the first step toward updating the commercial-building reference standard for state building energy codes from the 2010 edition of ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, to the 2013 edition.

As announced in the May 13 edition of the Federal Register, the DOE preliminarily determined that building to the 2013 edition would result in national source-energy savings of approximately 8.5 percent and site-energy savings of approximately 7.6 percent over building to the 2010 edition. If this preliminary determination is finalized, states would be required to update their codes to meet or exceed Standard 90.1–2013.

The DOE attributes the greater energy savings to improvements in the standard related to lighting, fans, commercial refrigeration, boilers, and controls.

The DOE is accepting public comments on the preliminary determination, with feedback requested by June 16, 2014. To submit a formal comment, go to https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/05/15/2014-11218/preliminary-determination-regarding-energy-efficiency-improvements-in-ansiashraeies-standard.

For more information, go to http://www.energycodes.gov/regulations/determinations.