Indiana Extends State Commercial Energy Code

Originally published by: Indiana Business JournalJanuary 4, 2017

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Gov. Mike Pence signed an executive order extending the state’s energy code for one year, a move that ensures developers of commercial buildings and apartments meet minimum standards for insulation, heating and air, and lighting.

Image result for governor pence signing billPence signed the order on Dec. 28, just days before the code was to expire and a week after critics said failing to do so could let unscrupulous builders cheat tenants and others of basic protections against weather.

In his executive order, Pence said the expiration of the rule would cause “an emergency to exist and creates a danger to commercial structures since they will not have energy compliance rules in place.”

IBJ reported on Dec. 21 that the Pence administration planned to let the energy code expire. John Erickson, a spokesman for the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, said then that the move was necessary because two outside groups had requested changes in the standards that required the rulemaking to restart and be divided into two separate tracks.

But on Wednesday, Erickson said the existing rule was extended a year so it remains in force until Jan. 1, 2018. “The governor’s executive order is an extension to provide time to work through those two separate processes,” he said.

Meanwhile, the homeland security department is continuing to work on new outdoor event equipment rules that were prompted by the Indiana State Fair stage collapse in 2011, Erickson said.

Emergency rules put in place immediately after the incident, which killed seven people and injured dozens more, expired roughly a year ago, IBJ reported last month. Those rules had established stricter design and construction requirements for outdoor event equipment such as stage rigging.