Building Energy Standards

June 02, 2020


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.

The 2015 Vermont Commercial Building Energy Standards (CBES) took effect on March 1, 2015. The code is based on the 2015 IECC, with amendments to incorporate ASHRAE 90.1-2013. The new guidelines apply to all commercial construction, including alterations, renovations, repairs, and additions.

The 2015 Vermont Residential Building Energy Standards (RBES) apply to all new homes, alterations, renovations, repairs, and additions built after March 1, 2015. See the updated Vermont Residential Energy Code Handbook for revisions. 

Vermont enacted a Stretch Code for residential buildings to achieve greater energy savings than the RBES. Municipalities have the option of adopting the code as part of their land use bylaws. The stretch code became effective December 1, 2015.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: State
Category: Regulatory Policy
State: Vermont
Incentive Type: Building Energy Code
Web Site:
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building
Residential Code: 2015 Vermont Residential Building Energy Standards (RBES), based on the 2015 IECC with state specific amendments, mandatory statewide; can use REScheck to show compliance. Mandatory stretch code for building projects going through the ACT 250 land use permitting process.
Commercial Code: 2015 Vermont Guidelines for Energy Efficient Commercial Construction (CBES) is based on the 2015 IECC with amendments to incorporate ASHRAE 90.1-2013 and state-specific amendments. Mandatory statewide; can use COMcheck to show compliance.
Code Change Cycle: Both the residential and commercial code will be updated every three years.


Name: 30 V.S.A. § 51
Date Enacted: 1997 (subsequently amended)
Name: 30 V.S.A. § 53
Date Enacted: 2005 (subsequently amended)


Name: Barry Murphy
Organization: Department of Public Service
Address: 112 State Street
Montpelier VT 05620
Phone: (802) 828-3183

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.