Building Energy Code

June 18, 2023


Note: The Hawaii Building Code Council has proposed adopting 2015 IECC standards.

Much of the information presented in this summary is drawn from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program and the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP). For more detailed information about building energy codes, visit the DOE and BCAP websites.

No schedule exists for making statewide changes to the Hawaii Model Energy Code (HMEC). Each county reviews its code periodically. If changes are deemed necessary on a statewide basis, the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT) submits proposed legislation to the state legislature. Following final passage, any new criteria becomes effective after an appropriate lead-in time.

In May 2009, the Hawaii County Council adopted the 2006 IECC with state-specific amendments. Among them, the new code gives options for roof insulation including cool roofs, advanced ventilation, and low emittance roofs by testing or specification. It also has more stringent requirements regarding pools as well as mandatory HVAC and other system commissioning.

On October 13, 2009, the Hawaii Building Code Council approved the 2006 IECC with state-specific amendments as the statewide energy code.

The counties of Hawaii are free to modify the statewide code, as long as the codes they adopt are at least as stringent.

In July 2015 the Hawaii State Building Code Council (SBCC) unanimously approved the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) with amendments. The code sets energy efficiency requirements for both residential and commercial buildings.

Effective December 15, 2020, Hawaii set new energy efficiency requirements for both residential and commercial buildings based on the 2018 IECC with amendments.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: State
Category: Regulatory Policy
State: Hawaii
Incentive Type: Building Energy Code
Web Site:
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building
Residential Code: 2018 IECC with amendments. REScheck is available to show compliance.
Commercial Code: 2018 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2016. COMcheck is available to show compliance.
Code Change Cycle: No set schedule. Last updated in December 2015.
Jurisdictions: Jurisdictional.


Name: Howard Wiig
Organization: Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Devel
Address: P.O. Box 2359
Honolulu HI 96804
Phone: (808) 587-3811

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.