Energy Efficiency Policies and Practices in Ohio

Residential and Commercial

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 Ohio

Code Level

Residential Energy Code

2009 IECC, with amendments

The Residential Code of Ohio

Commercial Energy Code

2009 IECC

The Ohio Building Code


Authorized by Statute. The buliding codes in Ohio are authorized under Ohio Code 3781. The rules in Ohio Administrative Code 4101:1-13-01 require that non-residential buildings in the state be built to meet the standards of the IECC or ASHRAE 90.1., with specific reference to the applicable versions found in OAC 4101:1-35-01.  Specific energy efficiency provisions are found in Chapter 13, OAC 4101:1-13.  Residential buildings are covered under Ohio Administrative Code 4101:8-1 with version references found in OAC 4101:8-44.  Energy efficiency-specific provisions are found in Chapter 11, OAC 4101:8-11.

Oversight – Oversight for the building codes in Ohio is through the Board of Building Standards (BBS). Residential codes are further overseen by the Residential Code Advisory Committee (RCAC), a subcommittee of the BBS.

Code change process – Regulatory and Legislative. The BBS (or the RCAC, and then the BBS) recommends code changes, which are then approved or disapproved by the legislative Joint Committee on Rules and Regulations (JCARR).

Code change cycle – There is no set schedule for reviewing or updating the energy codes. The Building Code and Residential Code are changed separately.


Enforcement Code compliance in Ohio can be met through three methods for residential buildings: compliance with the IECC, compliance with sections 1101-1104 of the Residential Code, or through an alternative compliance option agreed to with the Ohio Home Builders Association found in section 1105 of the Residential Code. Codes are enforced by the jurisdiction having authority over the buildings. If no local jurisdiction has authority, then commercial building plans and construction are reviewed by the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Industrial Compliance. Residential buildings are enforced only at the local level.

Implementation/Compliance Studies – The Building Codes Assistance Project has analyzed the status of compliance in Ohio and made recommendations on reaching 90% code compliance.

► 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 Ohio
  Administrator Program Audit Fee Maximum Customer Benefit
Ohio Columbia Gas of Ohio Home Performance Solutions $50 ($20 low-income) Rebates up to 70% for more than one qualified improvement
Dominion East Ohio Home Performance with Energy Star $50 Rebates, capped at $1,250
AEP Ohio In-Home Energy Program $25-50 Rebates based on fuels affected and energy saving measures.

► 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