Recent Changes to Michigan Energy Code for Builders

In May 2013, the state of Michigan instituted changes to the commercial and residential codes meant to increase the energy efficiency. If the outlined targets are hit, these mandates are projected to save the state nearly $230 million each year. Codes are currently reviewed every 3 years. The most current update to the Michigan Energy Code became effective on September 20, 2017. These changes are equivalent to the ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013 with amendments.

Current Amendments to Commercial Code

These amendments have been added to the original Michigan Energy Code.

  • Commercial buildings must install automatic shutoffs on lighting. This includes office spaces, sales floors, and common areas.
  • Every space must have a manual local control that users can easily access and operate.
  • Buildings should use bi-level switch lighting to allow the minimum amount of energy use needed.
  • Installation of sensors that automatically reduce lighting by at least 50% when space is unoccupied is now required.
  • Commercial buildings must install automatic daylight responsive controls for side and top lighting.
  • Hotels and motels will use switched receptacles and automatic lighting control to reduce energy waste.

Additional code changes expand the space types in which automatic full-off control by occupancy sensors are needed and update the requirements for parking garage lighting. An amendment also specifies that all new construction and renovations funded by the state of Michigan that exceed $1,000,000 must comply with LEED standards.

Current Amendments to Residential Code

The residential building code has been updated to include these energy efficient requirements.

  • Buildings must be tested and verified to have less than 4 air changes per hour. The leakage rate testing is performed with a blower door. The pressure should be equivalent to 0.2 wg (50 pascals). Some testing may require a certified third party to confirm results.
  • Insulation and fenestration tables have been amended to decrease reliance on indoor climate control. This includes updated guidelines for thermally isolated sunrooms.
  • Requirements for insulating air distribution systems have been updated for systems with components within and outside the building.

A copy of the Michigan Energy Code is available at the Lansing branch of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs or the full text may be purchased online.