Washington new homes program update to 2018 code slated for October

The 2018 Washington State Energy Code (WSEC), which became mandatory in February 2021, includes several updates that significantly increase its stringency. Starting October 1, Energy Trust of Oregon will require EPS homes to exceed the baseline that aligns with the 2018 WSEC. In addition to the existing EPS™ New Construction whole home option, which requires energy modeling, Energy Trust will offer a simpler participation path based on WA energy code credits. Here’s an overview of the two participation options:

Option 1: Whole home

As in prior years, builders will work with verifiers to conduct inspections in the field, model homes using REM/Rate and submit homes for review in AXIS. Homes will receive incentives based on the modeled percent improvement above the new code baseline.

Option 2: Code credits

In this new pathway, builders will work with verifiers to conduct inspections in the field, but verifiers will not need to create an energy model. Energy Trust will base incentives on the 2018 WSEC Energy Credits Table 406.3. To meet code, a home must achieve a certain number of credits based on its size and the fuel type used for space heating. Homes must achieve at least 0.5 gas-related code credit beyond

the code minimum to qualify for incentives. Verifiers will submit homes for review using AXIS. Homes that use the code credits option are not eligible to receive an EPS sheet, which details a home’s energy score and features. Instead, builders will receive a report that details how the home exceeded the code.

Builders should work with their verifiers to determine which option is best for them. Verifiers have resources to estimate incentives for both participation options. Explore ways to exceed the 2018 WSEC.

For more information, please contact the EPS New Construction team