Last Updated June 16, 2020
Building Energy Code
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
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.
All residential and commercial structures are required to comply with the state’s energy code. The 2009 New Mexico Energy Conservation Code (NMECC), effective June 2013, is based on 2009 International Energy Conservation Code. One amendment in NMECC to the 2009 IECC established climate zones to determine applicable building efficiency requirements based on geographic location and altitude.
The state also traditionally adopts the current version of the International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) Uniform Building Codes as a basis for all building codes. These codes are adopted by the state on a 3-year code cycle corresponding with the publication of the ICBO Uniform Codes. Amendments, if any, to the current version of the NMECC must first be proposed by a trade association or other construction group.
Notably, the residential code includes a requirement for new residential construction to account for the possibility of a solar system being installed in the future (see H.B. 610). New construction must include an electrical raceway connecting a future solar installation site with a future electrical equipment site.
The NMECC specifies compliance and plan review requirements. The local jurisdiction generally regulates plan review and enforcement (when they elect to enforce the code). If the local jurisdiction does not elect to, or does not have personnel qualified to, enforce the code provisions, the Construction Industries Division (CID) provides the necessary reviews and inspections for residential buildings. Technical assistance is provided to the CID by the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department for commercial buildings. The CID reviews plans and inspects all state-owned and state-funded buildings.