Pennsylvania To Adopt New Energy Conservation Code for Improved Building Efficiency

Pennsylvania is adopting a new energy conservation code effective Oct. 1, 2018, through an update of the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code (UCC). The 2015 IECC will be the building efficiency standard statewide except for in the city of Philadelphia, which is adopting the 2018 IECC standard.

These updates to efficiency standards represent a more than 26 percent increase in building energy efficiency over the current standard. Harold Jepsen, vice president of Standards and Industry, Building Control Systems at Legrand, has outlined the changes in the upcoming code updates as well as recommended lighting control solutions that meet these requirements.

Pennsylvania – 2015 IECC

  • Automatic daylight-responsive controls are now required for windows and skylights. This will save energy by automatically reducing the light level when there is a contribution of natural daylight through skylights, windows, and other vertical fenestrations. Some space types, like offices, classrooms, labs, and library reading rooms require the use of less distractive continuous dimming daylighting controls.
  • An automatic lighting shut off provision further reduces energy consumption and requires the use of occupancy sensors in 12 building space types. These include classrooms, conference rooms, lunch rooms, private offices, and restrooms.
  • Exterior lighting control provisions now require building façade and landscape lighting to be controlled independently of all other site and parking lighting. It also requires façade and landscape lighting to turn on/off as a function of the building’s use times. All other lighting, not classified as building façade and landscape, must reduce lighting by at least 30 percent, no later than midnight and 6:00 a.m., or one hour after business closing to one hour before business opening, depending on which timeframe comes first. These provisions will reduce energy consumption by using time scheduled controls to reduce or turn off unneeded exterior lighting during nighttime hours.
  • An Additional Efficiency Package Option introduces a selection of six efficiency measures. A building owner and design team must choose to apply at least one of these six options to the building project. Two of the six options are lighting related. One requires the reduction of the lighting power in the building design by at least 10 percent. The other requires use of enhanced digital lighting controls in the building.
  • Lighting System Functional Testing is included to determine how occupancy sensors, time switches, and daylight-responsive controls are to be configured, programmed, and calibrated. This assures the energy savings intended by these controls are fully realized.

Philadelphia – 2018 IECC

Philadelphia’s adoption of the 2018 IECC standard makes it one of the first jurisdictions in the country to follow the 2018 energy efficiency standard. There are a few added energy measures to the lighting controls section:

  • Occupancy sensor control of lighting in open plan office areas with control zones limited to 600-square-feet.
  • Occupancy sensor shut off time delay decreased to 20 minutes from the 30 minutes under the prior code.
  • Use of Luminaire Level Lighting Control technologies as an alternate lighting control compliance option.
  • A trade off to reduce lighting power allowances in exchange for use of automatic daylight-responsive controls.
  • Addition of two more measure selections to the Additional Efficiency Package Options, increasing the compliance choices from six options to eight.


Legrand is prepared to assist with these terms by offering code compliant products and solutions, including Wattstopper Digital Lighting Management (DLM) system products:

  • Automatic daylight-responsive controls, like the Wattstopper LMLS-500 photosensors, automatically switch or dim lighting based on ambient light and/or daylight levels.
  • A range of Wattstopper occupancy sensors, including the LMPC-100 low profile Digital PIR Ceiling Mount Occupancy Sensor (with room controller), automatically turns lighting on and off based on occupancy. In addition, the DCLV2 0-10V Decorator Dimmer, which controls and dims low voltage lighting loads, can be set for Manual-On or Partial-On to meet code.
  • Timer wall switch controls, such as the RT-200 Astronomical Time Switch, automatically turns lighting on and off at a preset time for energy savings and security for both inside and outside spaces.
  • In open plan office areas, products like the LMDC-100 low profile Dual Technology Ceiling Mount Occupancy Sensor are ideal where using just one detection technology could result in false triggers.


  • IECC (2015) design recommendations and solutions
  • IECC (2015) commercial lighting and electrical control requirements
  • IECC (2018) commercial lighting and electrical control requirements
  • Wattstopper Spaces Training is a program intended to help distributors and contractors choose the right type of lighting control product for each application space. For more information about this program, please contact a Legrand regional sales representative.

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