Q. 9, Short EAF (Part 1) State Energy Code
Short Environmental Assessment Form Workbook
Does the proposed action meet or exceed the state energy code requirements?
If the proposed action will exceed requirements, describe design features and technologies:
In NYS, the following must comply with the Energy Conservation Construction Code (Energy Code):
- All new residential and commercial buildings
- All additions to residential and commercial buildings and mechanical subsystems.
- Subsystems are things like a furnace or boiler, as part of HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), electrical systems such as lighting, or water systems.
- All substantial alterations to a building or building subsystem
- A substantial alteration is where 50 percent or more of a building or building subsystem is replaced.
Any proposed action or project that falls outside of these three bullet points is not required to comply with the Energy Code.
The Energy Code requires minimum standards for energy-efficiency in commercial and residential buildings to reduce fuel needs, lower operating costs, reduce dependence on imported energy sources, and reduce emissions and pollutants.
Exceeding the requirements of the State Energy Code or including renewable energy into the project design could make your proposed project more environmentally compatible, reduce greenhouse gases, and be more consistent with the municipality's environmental goals. This is especially the case if your municipality has adopted the Climate Smart Communities Pledge.
The question also asks if the proposed action will exceed requirements, and if so, to describe design features and technologies. The NY Energy Star Homes Program, the ICC/NAHB Green Building Standard, and the US Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) all use enhanced design and technology to reduce energy use. These links may be helpful in describing any additional features included in the proposed project.
Answering the Question
This question will very rarely be answered no. If the proposed project requires a building permit, it will most likely also be required to meet the State Energy Code.
Identifying the extent to which a proposed project meets or exceeds minimum Energy Code requirements will help the lead agency evaluate the level of impact an action might have on the environment. The local municipality's code enforcement officer should be contacted to determine if your proposed project will require a building permit, and compliance with the Energy Code.
Answer no only in those rare circumstances where a proposed project will not meet the State Energy Code requirements.
Answer yes if the proposed project will meet or exceed the State Energy Code requirements. If the proposed project requires a building permit, then it will need to meet the State Energy Code and therefore, you should answer yes. If the proposed project exceeds the State Energy Code requirements, this is an opportunity to describe how it does so, and what technologies are proposed to be used.
Other Useful Links
- NYS Code Enforcement Administration - Energy FAQs
- Energy Conservation Construction Code of NYS
- The NY Energy Star Homes Program is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)
- Other examples of national programs are the ICC/NAHB Green Building Standard, and
- The US Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)