Vigorous Code Adoption Activity Continues in the South

Vigorous Code Adoption Activity Continues in the South

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

Bryan P. Holland, South Field Representative, NEMA

Nearly every state in the NEMA Southern region is actively undergoing the regulatory code update process or has current legislation being considered that impacts code adoption. The NEMA field representatives and other members of the Coalition for Current Safety Codes are working hard with stakeholders and other interested parties to get the most current editions of codes and standards adopted and enforced.


The Florida Building Commission and Florida Fire Code Advisory Council will complete the rulemaking process this summer to put the 2017 Florida Building Code and Florida Fire Prevention Code (6th Edition) on track for an effective date of December 31, 2017. The 2017 code is based on the 2015 International Code Council codes (I-Codes) and 2014 National Electrical Code® (NEC). The 2017 Florida Fire Prevention Code is based on the NFPA 1-2015, NFPA 101-2015, and NFPA 72-2013 standards.

The Florida legislature is considering several code adoption bills that will significantly affect the code-update process. NEMA staff is actively monitoring the legislation and working with state lawmakers to limit the impact to electric, fire, and life safety requirements.


Georgia is wrapping up review of the 2017 NEC and 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). The State Codes Advisory Committee will recommend adoption of the updated codes to the Department of Community Affairs Board in November. The 2017 NEC and 2015 IECC are expected to go into effect on January 1, 2018.


The Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code Council has submitted rulemaking to the state legislature to adopt the 2015 I-Codes and 2014 NEC with an effective date of July 1, 2017.

North Carolina

The North Carolina Building Code Council moves closer to adoption of the 2018 state building code based on the 2015 I-Codes and the 2017 electrical code that is based on the 2017 NEC. The regulatory process is expected to be completed by December 2017, followed by legislative oversight and approval of the updated code adoption package. The current timeline anticipates an effective date of January 1, 2019.


The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance has filed a rulemaking to adopt the 2014 NEC with an effective date of June 21, 2017. The state has been enforcing the 2008 NEC since January 28, 2009, and will skip the 2011 edition.


The Texas Electrical Safety and Licensing Act requires the Department of Licensing and Regulation to adopt the most current edition of the NEC as the electrical code for the state. The 2017 NEC will be the minimum standard for all electrical work in Texas when adopted September 1, 2017.


The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development is in the final regulatory phase to adopt the 2015 Uniform State Building Code and Statewide Fire Prevention Code based on the 2015 I-Codes and 2014 NEC. A series of workgroup meetings have been scheduled throughout 2017 followed by not less than two rulemaking hearings with the Board of Housing and Community Development. The current timeline establishes an effective date of March 1, 2018. There is no pending code adoption legislation in Virginia.

For more up-to-date code adoption information in all 50 states, subscribe to the NEMA Code Alerts email service at

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