This piece was originally published in the September 2017 issue of electroindustry.
Mike Stone, West Coast Field Representative, NEMA
Activity continues on the West Coast regarding adoption of the National Electrical Code® (NEC) and the International Codes (I-Codes), which include building, fire, residential, and energy codes.
Adoption of the 2017 NEC in New Mexico has been delayed. It was scheduled for a final public hearing in June and would have become effective several months after that, but the public hearing was canceled at the request of homebuilders. As a result of legislation that became effective July 1, the New Mexico legislature has the authority to review all code adoptions before they become effective. This gives homebuilder organizations a venue through which they can delay or even prevent code adoption. This is a disturbing trend that has happened in other states. The NEMA Task Force on State Code Adoptions is active at regulatory and legislative levels to keep the timely adoption of codes on track.
Idaho and Washington adopted the 2017 NEC, effective in both states on July 1. Idaho also adopted the 2015 I-Codes for building, fire, and residential with the same effective date. In Washington, the 2015 I-Codes have been effective since July 1, 2016.
Oregon completed its review and adoption of the 2017 NEC and the 2015 International Residential Code. Both become effective October 1.
Although discussions are underway in Montana and Southern Nevada to move forward with 2017 NEC and 2015 I-Code adoptions, public hearings have not been scheduled.
In California, the 2014 NEC and the 2015 I-Codes became effective on January 1. The next editions of the codes are not scheduled to be effective until January 1, 2020. Because of the need for safety codes and standards governing the installation of energy storage systems, California is adopting the 2017 NEC Article 706 for Energy Storage Systems during its intervening code cycle. Article 706 will become effective statewide on July 1, 2018.