Energy Efficiency Policies and Practices in Kentucky

Residential and Commercial Sectors

Residential and commercial buildings account for 40% of energy use in the country.  These buildings where we live and work are affected by policies that provide minimum construction standards that reduce energy waste, provide financing options to help pay for energy upgrades, promote advancing energy efficiency through high-performance buildings that go beyond minimum requirements and techniques for taking advantage of the latest technologies in energy monitoring and control, and that ensure that as buildings become tighter that the health and safety of occupants are maintained.

Building Energy Codes in Kentucky

Code Level

Residential Energy Code

2009 IECC (effective 10/1/2012)

2007 Kentucky Residential Code, 2nd Edition (Revised January 2012)

Commercial Energy Code

2009 IECC (effective 6/1/2011)

2007 Kentucky Building Code, 9th Edition (Revised March 2011)


Authorized by Statute. KRS Chapter 198B.050 ordered the promulgation of a mandatory Uniform State Building Code. Subsequent code changes have brought the building and residential codes, and their energy chapters, up to their current level.

Oversight – Building codes in Kentucky are overseen by the Department of Housing, Buildings & Construction, Division of Building Code Enforcement.

Code change process – Regulatory and Legislative. Under the statutory requirements in KRS Chapter198B.080, code changes are submitted to the Department of Housing, Buildings & Construction, and approval by the Board of Housing, and then sent to the Legislative Research Committee for review and public comment before final adoption.

Code change cycle – Every three years.


Enforcement Code enforcement is shared between local jurisdictions and the Division of Code Enforcement. Local jurisdictions are required to follow the state codes and are not allowed to adopt or enforce other codes not referenced by the state codes. Plan review is done at the local level, while formal code interpretations are done at the state level.

Implementation/Compliance Studies – The Building Codes Assistance Project has information on the compliance studies they have done for Kentucky as well as DOE-funded compliance studies.

► Overview of building energy codes in the Midwest

Home Performance

In addition to building energy codes, states and utilities are often looking for ways to take buildings "beyond code" and achieve higher levels of energy savings. Home performance programs are becoming widespread in the region and offer a good best-practices example of a next step beyond baseline building energy code for states and utilities that are interested in achieving additional energy savings in residential buildings.

Summary of Home Peformance Programs in Illinois
  Administrator Program Audit Fee Maximum Customer Benefit
Kentucky Kentucky Housing Corporation Kentucky Home Performance (program ended 6/30/12) market priced KYHP provided $150 toward whole home energy audit; either a 20% rebate up to $2000 or a below market rate loan at 3.9% up to $20k with a term of 10 years.

► Overview of home performance programs in the Midwest


Read the report that accompanies these pages:
Energy Efficiency Policies, Programs, and Practices in the Midwest:
A Resource Guide for Policymakers (2014 Edition)

►more information about the Resource Guide