This Program In a Box gives suggestions for how State Energy Offices can utilize federal funding to implement a circuit rider program. In such a program, code officials with special expertise in enforcing energy codes help to address challenging code compliance questions. These expert Circuit Riders can help a variety of professionals including BPI specialists, Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Raters, building officials, and construction and design professionals. Section 40511 of IIJA provides $225 million for competitive grants to implement energy codes which could likely provide funding for a circuit rider program.

Benefits for States that Implement Circuit Rider Programs

  • This type of program is based on peer-to-peer learning, which enables skill building and working through problems in a group setting among local professionals.
  • An expert code official can reach many code enforcement professionals such as building officials. Such outreach raises the percentage of buildings that meet energy code provisions for safety, health, and energy savings.

How Communities Benefit from State Energy Offices Implementing Circuit Rider Programs

  • Circuit Riders can provide the specific building code expertise that communities need.
  • Multiple communities may opt to share a Circuit Rider.
  • Purchasers of new buildings will be more likely to get the code compliant structure that they expect.
  • Energy savings promises of building codes will have a better chance to be realized.

Examples Used to Develop This Program In a Box

Thank you to team members at the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP), the Illinois EPA Office of Energy, the University of Illinois, Idaho Governor’s Office of Energy and Mineral Resources, Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA), and the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) who generously shared their knowledge and experiences for this Energy Code Circuit Rider Program In a Box.

This Program In a Box draws on experiences from circuit rider programs in Nevada, Illinois, Idaho, Florida, and Iowa.

Nevada’s Energy Code Circuit Rider Program is a collaboration between the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) and the Governor’s Office of Energy. This program includes training, resources for energy code compliance, technical support offered via email and phone, and assistance with code amendments.

Illinois Energy Code Training & Tech Support Program is delivered by the University of Illinois Smart Energy Design Assistance Center (SEDAC), on behalf of the Illinois EPA Office of Energy. This program includes webinars, workshops, online training, resources, and technical support.

Idaho’s Energy Code Circuit Rider Program is funded by the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance. The Circuit Rider provides on-site training, education, and technical assistance and support via phone and email.

Florida’s Energy Codes Circuit Rider Program offers technical assistance and training through AZS Consulting, Inc. with oversight from the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance.

Iowa’s Energy Code Consultant Program offers residential energy code assistance and training. The Energy Code Consultant is an advisor rather than a code official, and is not involved in code interpretations or approvals.