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Energy Codes and Green Building Programs

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Builders can optimize the design of their homes to meet code and above-code recognition programs by incorporating high-efficiency propane furnaces and water heaters.

Homes today are obviously very different from those built a few decades ago.

But it might surprise you to know that homes built today are also very different from those built just a few years ago.

The driving reason for the change is energy efficiency. A home built today includes efficiency features far beyond the systems that homes have typically included – even for a new home that just meets minimum building code requirements.

And beyond these "built-to-code" homes, there are tens of thousands of homes constructed each year that achieve much higher "above-code" levels of energy performance. These homes feature advanced technologies and energy systems to reduce energy use and costs even further. 

Building energy codes

The 2015 IECC includes a new compliance path called the Energy Rating Index (ERI), allowing builders more choices in how to meet the energy code. The ERI path lets builders "trade off" performance between building elements and mechanical systems.


Get in-depth training about the 2015 IECC and beyond-code programs with our Propane Training Academy course, Propane as a Solution to Meeting Code and Above-Code Programs.


That means propane equipment gives builders more options to meet the code. A builder who includes a propane tankless water heater and high-efficiency furnace can scale back on window efficiency or avoid costly design changes to add thicker insulation.

Download the fact sheet, Propane offers builders design flexibility for code and beyond-code homes, for examples showing how upgrading to high-efficiency space heating and water heating equipment can allow builders to better manage complicated design changes.


As this map shows, the 2015 IECC has already been adopted in a number of states, including Maryland and Illinois. Several other states, like New York, are in the process of adopting the 2015 IECC.

Propane and green building programs

High-efficiency propane furnaces and water heaters can reduce a home's HERS Index by anywhere from 9 to 14 points. This helps meet IECC standards, and it can help builders earn distinction with other above-code and green programs, too.

  • Energy Star Homes. As part of the qualification for the Energy Star Homes, a home must meet a designated HERS score, and the combustion equipment within the home's conditioned space must be either direct vented or mechanically drafted. Most high-efficiency propane furnaces and tankless water heaters meet both criteria.
  • LEED for Homes v.4 and 2015 National Green Building Standard. Both high-efficiency propane furnaces and propane tankless water heaters can be key components in earning the LEED for Homes (LEED H) and National Green Building Standard (NGBS) certifications for a home.
Ultimate Guide to Commercial Propane Applications
Home/ Research & Training/ Energy Codes and Green Building Programs