The Tennessee Clean Energy Future Act of 2009 took effect July 1, 2010. The act amended T.C.A. § 68-120-101, adopted energy efficiency standards and broadened statewide building standards to cover newly constructed one- and two-family dwellings in addition to municipal, county, state and certain private buildings.
The legislation created three classes of code enforcement across the state:
- Exempt — These are cities where local building codes and local code enforcement meet state minimum standards. Exempt cities adopt and enforce their own building codes.
- Non-exempt state enforcement (opt-in) — These are cities where local residential building codes and local residential code enforcement do not meet state minimum standards. Here, at the request of the city or upon the department of commerce and insurance’s own initiative, the state will enforce state-adopted building codes.
- Opt-out — These are cities that have passed a resolution exempting their jurisdiction from the applicability of state minimum standards for one and two-family dwellings. Cities can avoid state enforcement by adopting and enforcing codes that meet minimum state standards. However, where cities do not meet these state minimums, the state standards will apply as will state enforcement. Cities also have limited authority to opt out of the application the state standards in their jurisdictions.