More Than 700 Attend Training Sessions...
Construction Industry Gears Up for the New Nebraska Energy Code

workshop attendees watching instructor
Attendees at one of the workshops listen as
the instructor explains how to use the new Code
With Nebraska’s new Energy Code — the 2003 International Energy Conservation Code — scheduled to take effect July 1, 2005, the Energy Office has joined with a number of the state’s utilities, home builders’ associations and the local code officials’ organizations, to provide more than 20 sessions across the state on the requirements of the new code.

The Legislature adopted the new code after a Nebraska Energy Office study showed an updated code would generate dollar savings from reduced energy in excess of mortgage payment increases due to higher construction costs. Building energy use consumes 42 percent of overall energy use in Nebraska, and is higher than the national average of 34 percent. Studies have continually shown that improving the energy efficiency of new buildings can reduce energy use of those structures by 30–50 percent.

Flocking to Learn About the Code
Since the first code workshop in December 2004 more than 700 people have learned about how to use the new code and how building practices will need to be modified.

To assist the state’s builders and codes officials, the Energy Office scheduled 21 workshops across the state. The first series of workshops on the Nebraska Energy Code were completed in early December 2004 and the series concludes in April 2005.

A Cost-Saving Way to Learn About the Code

From December 2004 through April 2005, here are the impacts of the energy code workshops:

  • 21 individual, one-day workshops for local code officials, builders, architects, engineers, and heating and air conditioning professionals have been held in eight Nebraska cities,
  • 714 persons have been trained,
  • The cost per person trained was an estimated $81 including trainers’ costs, Energy Office travel and room and computer rental, and
  • If the Energy Office had not made these training opportunities available, the International Code Council would probably charge $150 per day per person. Participants would have to go to Chicago or Kansas City – the closest codes training – and incur additional travel and lodging costs.
By the Numbers and Kudos to Sponsors
Here’s a brief rundown of the workshops by type, location, attendees and sponsors who provided financial support for a portion of the cost:

  • For Builders
    Training Provided By: Steven Winter Associates, Norwalk, Connecticut
    Locations: Columbus and Mahoney State Park
    Sponsors: Columbus Home Builders Association, Nebraska Public Power District, Loup Power District, Norfolk Home Builders Association, Butler Public Power District, Cornhusker Public Power District, the cities of Schuyler and David City and Kinder Morgan
    Number of People Attended: 135
  • For Code Officials
    Training Provided By: International Code Council, Chicago, Illinois
    Locations: Norfolk, Omaha, Grand Island, Lincoln, North Platte and Scotts Bluff
    Sponsors: Nebraska Public Power District, Omaha Public Power District, Nebraska Municipal Power Pool and Aquila
    Number of People Attended: 154
  • For Architects and Engineers
    Training Provided By: International Code Council, Chicago, Illinois
    Locations: Grand Island and Mahoney State Park
    Sponsors: Kinder Morgan and the Metropolitan Utilities District
    Number of People Attended: 110
  • For RESCheck and COMCheck (Code Compliance Computer Software) Users
    Training Provided By: Kansas Building Science Institute, Manhattan, Kansas
    Locations: North Platte, Omaha and Lincoln
    Number of People Attended: 52
  • For Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Suppliers and Installers
    Training Provided By: Kansas Building Science Institute, Manhattan, Kansas
    Locations: Norfolk, Omaha, Grand Island, Lincoln, North Platte and Scotts Bluff
    Sponsors: Kinder Morgan, Metropolitan Utilities District and Lincoln Electric System
    Number of People Attended: 172

More Workshops Added
Because of high interest expressed by architects and engineers as well as requests from local code officials, the Energy Office worked with the American Institute of Architects – Omaha Chapter, Southern Power District and Kinder Morgan to provide two additional workshops on the Nebraska Energy Code:

  • The first, targeting local building code officials and builders
    Training Provided By: International Code Council, Chicago, Illinois
    Date: 04/19/05
    Location: Grand Island Sponsor: Southern Power District and Kinder Morgan
    Registered Participants: 29
  • The second, targeting architects and engineers
    Training Provided By: International Code Council, Chicago, Illinois
    Date: 04/20/05
    Location: Omaha Sponsor: American Institute of Architects — Omaha Chapter
    Registered Participants: 63

People interested in attending the workshops can register online at the Energy Office web site.

Positive Impacts
How will the new code affect Nebraskans? If you are building a new home or a commercial building after July 1, 2005, you will need to comply with the standards in the Nebraska Energy Code. Generally, building a new house to the updated code will save up to $125 a year in utility costs, depending on where the home is built. Savings will rise if the cost of energy rises.


Attendees learn all new homes built after July 1, 2005
must comply with the new Nebraska Energy Code.
Local jurisdictions may adopt and enforce a lighting and thermal efficiency ordinance, resolution code or standard as long as it does not result in energy consumption greater than would result from the strict application of the Nebraska Energy Code.

Purchasing the Code Copies
The International Code Council is a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing a single set of comprehensive and coordinated national model construction codes. The founders of the International Code Council are Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc., International Conference of Building Officials and Southern Building Code Congress International, Inc. The nation’s three model code groups created the International Code Council to develop codes without regional limitations.

Copies of the International Codes — the new Nebraska Energy Code — can be purchased from the International Code Council.

Federal Dollars Fund Workshops
The series of workshops on the new code has been made possible by a 2004 State Energy Program Special Projects grant to the Energy Office from the U.S. Department of Energy. The work under this grant is scheduled for completion by June 30, 2005.

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