West Coast Acts on National Codes

West Coast Acts on National Codes

This piece was originally published in the January 2017 issue of electroindustry.

Mike Stone, West Coast Field Representative, NEMA

With the publication of the 2017 National Electrical Code® (NEC) in September, code adoption activity has begun.

The Idaho Electrical Board voted to recommend the adoption of the 2017 NEC. This recommendation and recommendations for the adoption of the 2015 International Code Council codes (I-Codes) will be forwarded to the state legislature to be considered during its next session. If approved, the 2017 NEC and the 2015 I-Codes will go into effect in Idaho in July 2017.

Oregon began its adoption cycle for the 2017 NEC. The period to submit public comment on amendments closed on October 15. The state’s Electrical Code Review Committee will review the changes in the 2017 NEC and all submitted public proposals. The projected effective date for the 2017 NEC is October 2017. Other code review committees are considering the adoption of the 2015 I-codes on a similar timeline.

Washington began its adoption cycle for the 2017 NEC. The public comment period closed on October 31, and the state Electrical Technical Advisory Committee met on December 14 to review 2017 NEC changes and proposed amendments. The projected effective date for the 2017 NEC is July 1, 2017. A separate agency, the Washington State Building Code Council, adopts all other codes. The 2015 I-Codes became effective in Washington in 2016.

Hawaii scheduled a public hearing on December 8, 2016, to finalize the adoption of the 2014 NEC and the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code® (IECC). Hawaii is using the 2008 NEC and the 2006 IECC. With the adoption of the 2014 NEC and 2015 IECC, it will skip the 2011 NEC, as well as the 2009 and 2012 editions of the IECC. The effective dates for these codes will be in early 2017.

The 2017 NEC recognizes the rapid pace of technological changes in the electroindustry this with the addition of five new articles, including ones on utility scale photovoltaic installations, microgrids, and energy storage. Several states that adhere to older codes, including California and Nevada, and individual jurisdictions such as Las Vegas and Los Angeles County are considering adopting parts of the 2017 NEC to allow for new technologies to be safely installed.

NEMA is directly involved in code adoption activities and promotes NEMA member interests during public hearings and comment periods.

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