Residential Construction Energy Code Requirements

 

Planning to purchase or build a new home in Montana? 

Montana has a state-wide energy code that governs all new home construction

 

Many new homes built in the state are reviewed by a building code department for code compliance. But all homes must meet state standards for such things as insulation levels, thermal ratings for windows, and heating appliance performance.

Use the Energy Code Guide to help ensure your new home is comfortable, healthy, and energy code compliant.

These codes are for the homeowner's protection. So talk with your builder and look for the blue Energy Component Label on the electrical panel of your recently completed new home.

The Energy Code Compliance Newsletter offers best practices for code officials, builders, and people in the marketplace for new residential buildings in Montana.

The Montana Residential Energy Code Handbook is guide to complying with the statewide energy code.

What the energy code means for you:

Are you buying or building a new home or remodeling your current home?

Are you a builder or contractor?

Are you an architect or building code official

 

Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Energy Code Summary

Local Government Code Programs 

Blower Door and/or Duct Tightness Test Professionals

Energy Code Training

 



How We Use Energy in Our Homes

Energy use is divided into two areas; base load and heating.  Heating is the biggest utility expense for most Montana families.  Baseload consumption is year-round energy uses like water heating, refrigeration and lighting.  Small changes in baseload consumption add up over the entire year. 

The EPA offers this interesting website to calculate your Home Energy Yardstick. All you need is a single power bill, which ordinarily shows electricity and natural gas usage over a year's time. Enter your usage and see how you compare to similar sized homes nationally.  

Energy Saver's Guidebook

Is Your Home Up to code? 

Space Heating

Heating your home uses more energy and drains more energy dollars than any other system in your home. Typically, 49 percent of your utility bill goes for heating. No matter what kind of heating system you have in your house, you can save money and increase your comfort by properly maintaining and upgrading your equipment.

Heating Tips

Your heating system, like your car, needs regular maintenance to run at peak efficiency. That means scheduling a yearly maintenance visit with a heating contractor to tune-up the system. A licensed contractor will make sure your heating system is operating efficiently and safely. A regular maintenance schedule can also help in identifying problems early.

Select energy-efficient products when you buy new heating equipment.

Your contractor should be able to give you energy fact sheets for different types, models, and designs to help you compare energy usage.

For furnaces, look for high Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratings. The national minimum is 78 percent AFUE, but certain ENERGY STAR models on the market that are rated 95 AFUE and above. ENERGY STAR-qualified models are eligible for the $500 Montana energy conservation credit.

Install an ENERGY STAR programmable thermostat.

Inexpensive and easy to install, programmable thermostats automatically turn down the heat during the weekdays and at night so you do not pay to heat your home when no one is around to appreciate the comfort. Programmable thermostats are easy to operate and allow for your different workday and weekend schedules. These thermostats also qualify for the 25 percent Montana energy conservation tax credit.

THERMOSTAT REPLACEMENT WARNING

Many older homes have room temperature thermostats that contain mercury. To identify, remove the front plate and look for one or more small glass bulbs, known as tilt switches. These contain mercury. Each tilt switch contains roughly three grams of mercury, though there may be as much as six grams. Never dispose of this type of thermostat in the trash or local landfill, because mercury is toxic and can leak out to contaminate our air, water, and soil. To assist home-owners with proper disposal of mercury-containing thermostats, a no-cost collection/recycling program is available to all Montana residents. To determine a drop off location in your area, contact your local county sanitarian

New in Energy

Energy Code Compliance Newsletter, Summer 2017

This newsletter assists code officials and people in the marketplace to better understand and comply with the residential energy code.

Blueprint for Montana's Energy Future released by Gov. Steve Bullock

The sweeping plan highlights energy efficiency, the potential for wind and solar, and advocates for innovative solutions to curb pollution from coal-fired plants. View Gov. Bullock's plan here.

A Citizen's Guide to Montana Energy Law

An overview of laws related to energy generation, transmission, and consumption in Montana

2016 Alternative Energy Revolving Loan Program Outcomes Report now available

Energy Code Website

To assist both building contractors and home buyers, Montana DEQ has developed a website that specifically addresses Montana's Energy Code requirements, such as minimum insulation, sealing, blower door testing, and self-certification. 

S.M.A.R.T. Schools Website

Governor Steve Bullock first unveiled the Montana S-M-A-R-T (Saving Money And Resources Today) Schools Challenge in the 2014-2015 school year. SMART Schools 2015-2016 wrapped up  this past May with a Symposium at the Capitol building on May 19th. The Challenge will continue for the 2016/2017 school year with the application period beginning in August.