Annual Midwest Energy Data & Building Codes Conference

About the Conference

The Midwest Regional Building Energy Codes Conference brings together stakeholders from across the Midwest to discuss how best to promote the adoption and raise compliance with building energy codes across the region. The conference provides an opportunity for stakeholders from various disciplines to meet, network and discuss the various approaches and strategies needed for improved energy codes adoption and compliance.

7th Annual Midwest  Building Energy Codes Conference

November 15-16, 2016
Cleveland, OH

The MEEA Codes team took their talents to Cleveland, OH where they held the 7th Annual Midwest Building Energy Codes Conference from November 15 -16, 2016. This event was a success with two productive days of networking and discussion among a diverse group of building efficiency professionals in the Midwest (and some from the coasts). Building professionals were represented from Federal, State and Local Energy Offices, Federal National Laboratories, Consulting Agencies, Non-Profits, and Code Enforcement Agencies. MEEA invited experts from across the Midwest and Nation to discuss timely topics related to building energy code adoption, compliance and enforcement. 

Read the full conference recap at MEEA Unplugged. 


6th Annual Midwest Energy Data & Building Codes Conference

Conference Recap:
6th Annual Midwest Building Energy Codes and Benchmarking Conference 

November 3–5, 2015
Minneapolis, MN

MEEA held its 6th Annual Midwest Energy Data and Building Codes Conference in Minneapolis, MN from November 3 -5, 2015. The event was a success with over 110 professionals from various sectors in the building community in attendance throughout the two and a half day conference. Attendees included professionals from Federal, State and Local Energy Offices, Federal National Laboratories, Utilities, Consulting Agencies, Construction Companies, Non-Profit Advocates, Researchers, and Code Enforcement Agencies. Throughout the conference, attendees had an opportunity to learn from energy data and code experts, as well as network and discuss strategies needed to improve adoption and compliance of both energy data and codes in the Midwest.

Energy Data Conference Recap

Introduction to Building Energy Benchmarking

The day starts with a presentation on the basic concepts of tracking energy use of existing buildings, what is the current state of these programs in the Midwest, and how benchmarking programs are developed to allow cities and states to meet their energy and CO2e goals.

Steve Kismohr, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance

Panel 1: Inspirational Midwest Leaders

Leading Cities and States who have implemented energy tracking and/or benchmarking initiatives discuss best practices and savings achieved.

Willie Overmann, City of Columbus, OH

Amy Jewel, IMT, Consultant to the City of Chicago, IL

Dean Laube, Franklin Energy

Panel 2: Geek Out with Data! Voices with Experience

Consistent measurement and data management are keys to a successful energy management practice. These experts explain their work, resources available, and analytical tools.

Jay Luboff, Navigant Consultants, Inc.

Nadia Kahn, City of Minneapolis and Katie Schmitt, MN CEE

Chris Baker, The Weidt Group Inc.

Panel 3: Innovational Ideas - Using Data to Save Energy and More

By investigating energy consumption comparisons at different scales, one can also make comparisons beyond energy benefits – including indoor air quality, transportation energy consumption, and other measurable quality of life factors.

Rick Carter, LHB Inc.

Dave Low, 2030 Districts

Ruairi Barnwell, DLR Group

Panel 4:  Loads of Data but How to Use It? Multi-Family Buildings Enter the Challenge

As benchmarking ordinances mature, residential multi-family buildings begin to gain focus on energy data transparency; we explore new studies and unique engagement programs for this building type.

Lindy Wordlaw, Elevate Energy

Ben Campbell, University of IL Energy Resource Center

Billy Weber, University of MN Center for Sustainable Building Research

Table Networking – Meet your Neighbors

Day one finishes with a round of networking and groupthink on what was learned and achieved today, as well as what could be included for next year’s event.

Hosted by Steve Kismohr, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance


Energy Codes Conference Recap

Introduction to Energy Building Codes

To start the day, Isaac Elnecave discussed the importance and purpose of the Codes Conference and called on contacts in various states in the Midwest to discuss the current status and energy code progress from each state.

  • Conference Overview and Purpose
  • Status of Midwest States

Isaac Elnecave, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance

Panel 1: Building Energy Optimization Software (BEopt) - Deep Dive

This presentation highlighted the capabilities this free energy modeling system has in assessing and comparing the energy use and construction cost of buildings that comply with various editions of the IECC. 

Eric Wilson, NREL

Panel 2: 2015 IECC – Early Adopters

The 2015 IECC is being adopted, or considered for adoption, in various states around the nation. During this panel, we heard experiences from professionals involved in the 2015 IECC adoption processes in Illinois and Vermont.

Lisa Mattingly, IL Capital Development Board

Leslie Badger, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation

Panel 3: Code Compliance Studies – Collecting and Assessing Field Data

These presentations highlighted the results and methodology from the Department of Energy (DOE) Residential Energy Code Field Study being conducted in ten states around the nation. The DOE focused on high level information and MEEA presented detailed findings from the first phase in the Kentucky Residential Energy Code Field Study.

  • DOE Residential Energy Code Compliance Study Methodology & Process

Jeremy Williams, Department of Energy

Isaac Elnecave, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance

Panel 4:  Ventilation - Energy and Indoor Air Quality

This panel brought in experts to talk about the newly adopted ventilation requirements in Minnesota and the results from a ventilation effectiveness study conducted in the Pacific Northwest.

  • Heat Recovery Ventilation Discussion

Tim Manz, City of Blaine, MN

Gary Nordeen, Washington State University Energy Program

Panel 5: Energy Rating Index – Home Energy Rating System (HERS)

To wrap up the day, Chris Mctaggart, Executive Director for the Midwest Home Performance Association (MHPA) discussed the role that the MHPA will have as third party verifiers become more prevalent in code compliance.  Ian Blanding, Building Policy Associate for MEEA, presented his preliminary findings after analyzing the rated features of over 5000 HERS rated homes in Iowa.

Chris McTaggart, Midwest Home Performance Association

Ian Blanding, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance

Panel 6: Code Compliance – New Ideas and Collaboration

To start the second day, panelists discussed the approach to developing an effective commercial compliance study and effective state energy code compliance collaborative.

Poppy Storm, Ecotope

Alison Lindburg, Fresh Energy

Panel 7: Multi-Family Buildings – New Energy Perspectives

This panelist highlighted the potential development and benefits of including a Multi-family chapter in the IECC.

Nehemiah Stone, New Buildings Institute

Panel 8: Advancements in the Energy Code – Policies for the Future

The last panel of the conference looked ahead to the future of buildings and brought in high performance building experts to discuss construction practices that can achieve significant improvements in building energy performance over simply building a home to the current energy code. 

Paul Grahovac, Build Smart

Stephan Tanner, TE Studio

Please direct any questions to Ian Blanding, MEEA's Building Policy Associate.

Isaac Elnecave | Senior Policy Manager
Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance

Ian Blanding | Building Policy Associate
Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance


5th Annual Midwest Building Energy Codes & Benchmarking Conference


Kansas City, MO: November 18-20, 2014

Our Annual Conference brought together stakeholders from across the Midwest to discuss how energy consumption can be reduced in new construction and existing buildings. During our 5th Annual Midwest Building Energy Codes & Benchmarking Conference, we explored the best practices to achieve energy savings from efficiency resulting from the adoption and compliance of energy codes and benchmarking policies.  This FREE conference provided an opportunity for stakeholders from various disciplines to meet, network and discuss the various approaches and strategies needed to meet these goals.

This year we are again offered a full-day benchmarking program during the first day of the Conference. This event focused on building energy benchmarking for existing buildings. As these voluntary and legislative initiatives continue to gain favor in many cities and states in the Midwest, MEEA invites you to learn from states and municipalities that have enacted such plans, as well as contribute your ideas on adopting and implementing benchmarking policies.

Benchmarking Conference Recap

Introduction to Building Energy Benchmarking
The basic concepts of tracking energy use of existing buildings and how benchmarking programs are developed to allow cities and states to meet their sustainability goals.

Panel 1 - Celebrating Building Energy Benchmarking and Disclosure Initiatives in the Midwest
Benchmarking Leaders discuss Stakeholder Groups, Implementation, and Reporting.

Panel 2 - ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Tool and Data Sharing Techniques
EPA provides an update on the tool of choice for most benchmarking programs and how data sharing is embedded within the tool. Leslie also spoke about paths towards achieving energy savings.

Panel 3 - Access and Acquisition of Building Energy Data
Discussion on resources and best practices that are available for public entities, as well as a glimpse into the management of a large county portfolio.

Panel 4 - Tools for Tracking Building Energy Data
Key concepts for this presentation include utility data acquisition, data privacy, management and storage of energy data, cloud-based monitoring, and analyzing data to find savings potential.

Panel 5 - Connecting Energy Tracking to Actual Savings
Explore different options to find potential energy savings in buildings - by employing educational opportunities and powerful tools to analyze annual energy use.

Codes Conference Recap


  • Conference Overview and Purpose
  • Status of Midwest States

University of Missouri Research on Building Efficiency and Advanced Training

Compliance Perspectives in the Midwest

  • A View from Minnesota
    Alison Lindburg, Fresh Energy
  • Enforcement Perspectives from Chicago
    Elizabeth Scanlan, Chicago Department of Buildings

Energy Rating Index – New Compliance Path in 2015 Residential IECC

What’s Next For Codes and Building Efficiency?

DOE Residential Compliance FOA Overview

Code Compliance Studies and DOE Compliance Programs

Energy Code Compliance Enhancement Programs


The 4th Annual Midwest Regional Building Energy Codes Conference was held in Louisville, KY at the Brown Hotel on October 22-24, 2013.  This year's conference focused on the upcoming 2015 IECC, on code compliance strategies from around the region, and on the efforts and challenges in establishing utility energy code programs.  It was preceeded by a pre-conference session on building energy benchmarking.

Pre-Conference Benchmarking Session Presentations

Benchmarking 101

Successful Building Energy Benchmarking and Disclosure Ordinances – Midwest & Beyond

Benchmarking Leaders Discuss Legislation, Implementation, and Reporting

Benchmarking Best Practices – Pre-Programming

Initiating the Conversation of Energy Tracking and Disclosure to Your Local Buildings Market

Data Collection, Effects on Operations, and our Energy Management Future

Using Benchmarking to Reach the Goal – Measureable Savings

Successful Public Programs to Improve Existing Building Performance

Energy Codes Conference Presentations

Introduction and Perspective

Energy Codes 101: Matthew Giudice, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance

  • This presentation is an introductory overview of building energy codes for those new to the field. Sections include: Code development, Adoption Process, Elements of the Code, and Code Compliance.

Preview of 2015 IECCErik Makela, Britt/Makela Group

  • Brief overview of the amendments that were approved at the recently completed International Code Council Public Action Hearings.  These amendments will be incorporated into the next version of the IECC.  

Technical Issues with 2012 IECC: Darren Meyers, International Energy Conservation Consultants

  • Discussion of the issues that give builders, code officials and design professionals problems with respect to the 2012 IECC.  

New Energy Rating Compliance Path in the 2015 IECC: Erik Makela, Britt/Makela Group

  • One of the more controversial amendments debated at the ICC Public Action Hearings was a proposal that added a new compliance path based on achieving a certain rating index.  

Iowa Perspective on using HERS to show code compliance  Dave Ruffcorn, Iowa State Code Official

  • This discussion goes over how municipalities in Iowa enforce the energy code using HERS raters.

Code Compliance Strategies

Code Collaboratives: Danielle Jensen, Nebraska Energy Office

  • This section gives an overview of the formation and activity of the code compliance collaborative in Nebraska.   Code compliance collaboratives are stakeholder groups interested in improving code compliance.

Code AmbassadorsMaria Ellingson, BCAP

  • This section discusses the initiative by the Building Codes Assistance Project to train and develop code ambassadors.  Ambassadors are code officials who are exceptionally knowledgeable on the energy code and help other officials with enforcing the energy code.

Circuit Riders: David Freelove, Idaho Association of Building Officials

  • Circuit Riders are individuals who travel around a given state to individual municipalities (or groups of small municipalities) and give one-on-one training and assistance to code officials and/or builders.   

Success Books/Manuals: Abby Schwimmer, Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance

  • Success books are detailed manuals (complete with pictures) that give instruction on how to build and inspect to the energy code.  Success manuals are being used widely in the Southeast and can provide help in the Midwest.  

Iowa's Approach to Increasing Compliance in Rural Areas: David Ruffcorn, Iowa State Code Official

  • Achieving code compliance in rural areas poses unique problems.  Rural areas typically don't have municipalities large enough to accommodate effective building departments. The Iowa Department of Public Safety has developed an innovative way to enforce codes in rural areas using electrical inspectors.  

Third Party Residential Inspection Pilot - Illinois:  Don Plass, Building & Fire Code Academy

  • This section gives details on how the Illinois Energy Office's third party pilot program is being run.

Utility Codes Program Overview

Current Utility Codes Program Efforts in Illinois: Isaac Elnecave, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance

  • Overview of the effort to establish a utility code compliance program that incorporates all of the investor owned utilities in Illinois and the state energy office.

Utility Codes Program Potential in non-EEPS states: Garry Ruliffson, Omaha Public Power District; Vrushali Mendon, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

  • Establishing a utility codes program is a challenge in states with an Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard.  It is especially difficult in states without an EEPS, as there is very little incentive for utilities to develop such a program.  However, there are circumstances where it makes sense for utilities to establish a codes program even in a non-EEPS state.  This section focuses on efforts to do this in Nebraska.

Converting Increased Compliance to Energy Savings: Olga Livingston, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

  • In order for utilities to claim savings from enhanced compliance, it is necessary to have a methodology for converting the increase in compliance due to a program into actual MMBTUs.  The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is working on such an effort.  This section goes into how a new software tool being by PNNL can accomplish this task.

Utility Codes Program Attribution/Allocation Methodology: Hammad Chaudhry, Nicor Gas

  • Once energy savings have been calculated, the next step is to give utilities their fair percentage of the savings.  This is called attribution.   Once it has been determined how much of the savings goes to the utilities, it must be allocated to each utility according to a rational method.  This section discusses the issues with developing methodologies for attributing and allocating savings to the utilities.

Utility Codes Program Cost/Benefit Analysis: Stefano Galiasso, Energy Resource Center

  • Once the costs behind the program elements have been calculated and the energy savings have been allocated to each utility, it is necessary to figure out whether the effort is cost-effective.  This section goes over the work that went into determining whether the program in Illinois was cost-effective.

Lessons Learned from Illinois Process: Chris Burgess, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance

  • This section will discuss the lessons learned from the Illinois effort.  The Illinois process was the second effort in the country and the first to use multiple utilities working in concert.  We believe many of the lessons, techniques, and methodologies can be carried over to other states.


The 3rd Annual Midwest Regional Energy Codes Conference was held in Indianapolis, IN on October 3-4, 2012. This invitation-only event will brought together energy codes stakeholders from across the Midwest region to further develop a regional approach to promoting the adoption and improving compliance with the energy code.

Presentations from the 3rd Annual Conference

I. State Efforts in Adopting the 2012 IECC

II. Specific Issues Related to Code Adoption

III. Energy Code Compliance Solutions

IV. Utility Programs and Codes

V. Building Energy Benchmarking and Rating

Building Energy Codes Reading List 2012

Utility Programs and Codes

 Utility Programs and Building Energy Codes: How utility programs can help realize the potential of building energy codes and how energy codes can help utilities achieve energy efficiency goals. (Isaac Elnecave, MEEA)

 Enhancing Energy Code Compliance through Partnerships with Utilities. (Isaac Elnecave, MEEA; Chris Baker, The Weidt Group; Carolyn Sarno, NEEP; Puja Vohra, National Grid)

 Integrating Codes and Standards into Electric Utility Energy Efficiency Portfolios(Adam Cooper and Lisa Wood, IEE)

 Case Studies on SEO and Utility Involvement in Building Energy Code Programs - Washington Case Study: Utility Code Group Experience Helps Inform Other States.(NASEO)

Energy Code Compliance Solutions

 A Comprehensive Approach to Energy Code Education (David Cohan, NEEA)

 The Washington State Energy Code: Certification for Inspectors and Plan Reviewers for the Non-Residential Energy Code (Rick Kunkle, Washington State University)

Building Energy Benchmarking and Rating

 Building Energy Benchmarking Final Technical Report (Dr. Xiaohui Zhou, Iowa Energy Center; Tom McDougall, The Weidt Group)

  • Iowa Energy Center Final Technical Report (April 2012) describes the results from the State of Iowa public building energy benchmarking pilot project.

 Guaranteed Energy Savings Program (Minnesota Department of Commerce)

  • The State of Minnesota Department of Commerce has created a number of energy savings programs, including the Guaranteed Energy Savings Program, for state agencies and local units of government. These technical and financial assistance programs build upon their B3 Public Building Benchmarking Program and support those seeking to implement energy efficiency and/or renewable energy improvement strategies in state facilities using Energy Savings Performance Contracts.

 Commercial Building Asset Score
 Home Energy Score
 Building Performance Database (US Department of Energy)

  • The Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Program has developed tools for tracking energy use in commercial (Commercial Building Energy Asset Score) and residential buildings (Home Energy Score). The Building Performance Database is a means for tracking and evaluating these energy efficiency projects.

 Green MLS Toolkit
 Midwest Real Estate Data (National Association of REALTORS®, NAR Green REsource Council)

  • The National Association of REALTORS® and NAR's Green REsource Council developed the Green MLS Tool Kit to assist communities and green building advocates to support efficient flow of green home information and value to the market. As one of the first regions to include ‘green’ data fields, the Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED) is the real estate data aggregator and distributor for the Chicagoland multiple listing service (MLS).

The 2nd Annual Midwest Regional Building Energy Codes Conference was held on October 5-6, 2011 in Chicago. It was attended by 42 guests representing state code officials, state energy officials, utility representatives, energy code advocates, manufacturers, energy efficiency program administrators, architects, and building trades professionals. 

The conference built on the previous year's conference and the ongoing codes developments in the region to continue to work towards developing a regional approach to promoting the adoption, implementation,  and improving compliance with building energy codes in the Midwest.

Conference Topics

The main topics that were covered over the two day conference include:

  • Status of Midwest States
  • 2012 IECC/ASHRAE 90.1-2010
  • Utility Programs and Energy Codes
  • State Compliance Pilot Studies
  • Third Party Enforcement

Resources & Conference Materials

Reading List

Conference Notes

Conference Presentations

MEEA Introduction & Topics Overview

Conference Speaker Presentations

(video is available for a subset of the presentations)

  • 2012 IECC / ASHRAE 90.1-2010 Panel Discussion
    • Cole - Overview of Changes to Residential and Commercial Provisions of 2012 IECC [pdf]
    • Nelson - Issues Related to Upcoming Adoption [pdf]
  • Utility Programs and Energy Codes Panel Discussion
    • Cooper - Overview of Utility Codes Programs [pdf] [video]
    • Elnecave - Examples from Massachusetts and California [video]
    • Baker - Calculating Energy Savings from Codes Programs [pdf] [video]
    • Edelson - Leveraging Codes and Programs [pdf] [video]
  • State Compliance Pilot Studies Panel Discussion
    • Spalding - Wisconsin 90% Energy Compliance Pilot Study [pdf] [video]
    • Bishop - Iowa Residential Energy Code Compliance Study [pdf] [video]
    • Baker - Illinois Codes Compliance Study [pdf] [video]
  • Third Party Enforcement Panel Discussion
    • Bishop - Using HERS Raters in Code Compliance Work [pdf]
    • Kosarzycki - Wisconsin Experience with Third Party Enforcement [pdf] [video]


The 1st Annual Midwest Regional Building Energy Codes Conference was held on August 31-September 1, 2010 in Chicago. It was attended by 24 guests representing state code officials, state energy officials, utility representatives, energy code advocates, manufacturers, energy efficiency program administrators, and architects.

The conference was held with the intention of developing a regional approach to promoting the adoption and improving compliance with the energy code, and bringing together stakeholders in the Midwest to focus on building energy code issues.

Conference Topics

Topics that were discussed at the 1st Annual Midwest Regional Building Energy Codes Conference included:

  • Discussion of General Code Process
    Brief description of how codes are developed/adopted/enforced
  • Status of National Process
    Quick overview of the ICC and ASHRAE Process. Relationship to state/local work.
  • Status of Midwest States
    Review of code adoption in the Midwest states. Description of enforcement including training and certification.
  • Codes Policy
    Discussion of the main aspects of energy codes policy including code development, adoption, compliance, and energy measurement.
  • Adoption Goals
    Discussion of goals for adoption such as automatic adoption and stretch codes
  • Adoption Barriers
    Discussion of barriers to meeting building energy code adoption goals; strategies to overcoming barriers to adoption
  • Compliance Goals
    Discussion of goals for energy code compliance and compliance initiatives and pilot studies taking place in the region and nationally.
  • Coordination of Initiatives
    Discussion of how work on various compliance initiatives can be coordinated to maximize benefits.
  • Energy Measurement
    Discussion of how measurement of energy use works with energy codes.
  • 3rd Party Inspection
    What are 3rd Party Inspectors? How can 3rd party inspections help with improving enforcement? How can it be adopted and implemented?
  • Utililties & Codes
    What is the relationship between utilities and code adoption/enforcement? What is the role of utilities in code adoption/enforcement? How do we i ncorporate utility codes activies into energy efficiency programs?
  • Next Steps
    Brief discussion of what future coordination activities might be, including: the institution of regular (monthly, quarterly, etc.) conference calls between conference participants and other stakeholders to discuss pressing code-related issues in the region.

Notes from the conference are available for download [pdf].