U.S. Electrical Code Adoptions – 2020 Update

New Year, New Code Cycle

The NFPA Standards Council issued the 2020 version of the National Electrical Code® (NEC®) in August 2019. In January 2020, states may begin the process of deciding whether to adopt the new NEC-2020 or another edition of the Code. Massachusetts, which historically has been the first state to adopt the latest NEC near the beginning of the Code cycle year, is poised to adopt the 2020 NEC in January. Other states and local jurisdictions are adopting older, existing versions of the NEC. California, for example, begins enforcement of the NEC-2017 in January 2020.

IAEI News is debuting a new column starting in January 2020 called Code Watch. In this column, we are presenting code adoptions across the United States and elsewhere. While this article simply can’t cover every single jurisdiction (that would be a book), we want to give a forum where both local and state/ provincial jurisdictions can announce the enforcement of new electrical codes.

In Canada, most of, if not all of the regional provinces adopt the latest version of the Canadian Electrical Code. In the United States, every state has its own practices with regards to adoption, enforcement, and so forth. Thankfully, the terms and enforcement procedures are relatively consistent across the board. Here are a few to help you get started. Just be careful to double-check with your local jurisdiction to find out exactly what rules you need to follow.

The NEC is revised every three years; this three-year period is called the NEC Code Cycle. The term also applies to local jurisdictions as to when they adopt and begin enforcement of a specific code. It does not always follow the NEC Code Cycle period. For example, Colorado adopted the NEC- 2017 in July 2017 and most likely will adopt the NEC-2020 in July 2020. They traditionally have a three-year code cycle, just with varying dates. The simplest way to look at it is that the code cycle is the time between the adoption of one version of the NEC and another.

The NEC is enforced across all local jurisdictions within the state. Some jurisdictions may elect to adopt local amendments.

Often this term refers to when a state department adopts the NEC for state-owned buildings, unincorporated areas, or even licensing. Local jurisdictions can adopt and enforce a different version of the NEC. Sometimes this term gets mixed up with statewide adoption, as in the state adopts a minimum code, but local jurisdictions can adopt more stringent codes.

The state does not adopt any version of the NEC and leaves adoption up to local jurisdictions. Sometimes individual departments within a state may adopt a code just for use within that department, but local jurisdictions can adopt whatever code they want. There is no regulation at the state level.

Amendments are additional requirements or changes to the adopted Code that often take into consideration local conditions, additional safety requirements, historical purposes, etc. For example, adopted amendments in Denver may consider the altitude and the climate versus local amendments in Los Angeles that may consider earthquake-prone areas and its unique climate.

TIAs are amendments to the NEC that were not published at the time of the first or second draft. They are only active between editions of a Code and are usually brought up before the code panels prior to the adoption of the next NEC. For example, when the 2017 NEC was approved in August 2016, TIAs may crop up between this code and the creation of the 2020 Code that cover issues within the Code.

Ready to discover what states are up to as of January 2020? Let’s get started.


Effective: July 1, 2016 Enforcement: Hybrid

Agency: State of Alabama Building Commission | Alabama Energy & Residential Codes Board | P.O. Box 301150 | Montgomery, AL 36130-1150 ~ (334) 242-4082 ~ bc.alabama.gov

Quick Fact: Alabama does not have a statewide standard, as the adopted code only applies to state buildings, schools, hotels, and motion picture studios. Here are a few of the local jurisdictional adoptions:

  • County of Shelby — NEC-2017
  • City of Montgomery — NEC-2017
  • City of Birmingham — NEC-2014
  • City of Mobile — NEC-2014
  • City of Tuscaloosa — NEC-2014
  • City of Hoover — NEC-2014
  • City of Dothan — NEC-2014
  • County of Madison — NEC-2002


Effective: May 9, 2018

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: Division of Labor – Standards and Safety | P.O. Box 111149 Juneau, AK 99811 ~ (907) 465-4855 ~ labor.alaska.gov/lss

Quick Fact: The adopted code is considered the minimum statewide, but local jurisdictions can adopt codes that are newer (i.e. NEC-2020). Enforcement can be minimal itself as there are only a small number of inspectors covering the entire state outside of Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau.

ARIZONA • NEC-2008 (Board of Manufactured Housing only)

Enforcement: Local

Agency: N/A

Quick Fact: Arizona does not have statewide adoption of the NEC. Jurisdictions such as Phoenix and Tucson do adopt the code directly. Here are a few of the local adoptions:

  • City of Phoenix — NEC-2017, adopted June 6, 2018
  • City of Tucson — NEC-2017, effective January 1, 2019
  • City of Mesa — NEC-2017, effective February 10, 2019
  • City of Tempe — NEC-2017
  • City of Prescott — NEC-2017, effective June 11, 2019
  • City of Peoria — NEC-2017
  • City of Scottsdale — NEC-2014
  • City of Gilbert — NEC-2011, effective December 7, 2013


Effective: January 1, 2018

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: Arkansas Department of Labor Arkansas Board of Electrical Examiners 10421 West Markham Little Rock, AR 72205-2190 ~ (501) 682-4500 ~ labor.arkansas.gov/electrical-inspection-and-licensing

Quick Fact: Arkansas is one of the states where the adopted code is considered the minimum electrical standard. Jurisdictions can adopt codes that are better than the minimum (such as the NEC-2020).


Effective: January 1, 2020

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: California Building Standards Commission | 2525 Natomas Park Drive, Suite 130 | Sacramento, CA 95833 ~ (916) 263-0916 ~ dgs.ca.gov/BSC

Quick Fact: California is on a three-year code cycle as well. Local jurisdictions are required to enforce the Code as adopted but are allowed to request approval from the CBSC based on local geographic, climactic, or geologic conditions.


Effective: July 1, 2017

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: Colorado State Electrical Board 1560 Broadway, Suite 1350 Denver, CO 80202 ~ (303) 894-2300 ~ colorado.gov/pacific/dora/Electrical

Quick Fact: Colorado is another state on a three-year cycle and will most likely adopt the NEC-2020 this year. An interesting thing to note is that while the state does adopt the Code statewide, local jurisdictions have up to a year to adopt the most recent standard.


Effective: March 11, 2016

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: Fire Prevention Commission/State Fire Marshal | 1463 Chestnut Grove Road Dover, DE 19904-1544 ~ (302) 739-3160 ~ statefiremarshal.delaware.gov

Quick Fact: Delaware is one of the states where jurisdictions are required to adopt the NEC enacted by the Delaware Fire Prevention Commission. The state requires examinations/ certifications to be undertaken by all electrical inspector licensees.


Effective: March 28, 2014

Enforcement: Districtwide

Agency: Construction Codes Coordinating Board | Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs | 1100 4th Street, SW Washington, DC 20024 ~ (202) 442-4400 ~ dcra.dc.gov/page/construction-codes-laws-and-regulations-0

Quick Fact: In October 2015, the CCCB began a cycle to review the NEC-2014 and the 2015 ICC Codes. A second notice of proposed rule making was published in the DC Register on July 26, 2019, but no updates have been adopted at this time and the district is still on the NEC-2011.


Effective: December 31, 2017

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation | 2601 Blair Stone Road | Tallahassee, FL 32399-1027 ~ (850) 487-1824 ~ floridabuilding.org/c/default.aspx

Quick Fact: The state of Florida is currently reviewing and processing an adoption of the NEC-2017 with an enforcement date of December 31, 2020.


Effective: January 1, 2018

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: State Codes Advisory Board Department of Community Affairs 60 Executive Park South, NE Atlanta, GA 30329-2231 ~(404) 679-4840 ~ dca.ga.gov

Quick Fact: The DCA formed a new task force to review and update NFPA 70 from the NEC-2017 to the NEC-2020. Meetings were held in Fall 2019 and continued into the new year. Based on the state’s past three-year code cycles, it will likely be effective on January 1, 2021.


Effective: July 26, 2018

Enforcement: Hybrid

Agency: Hawaii Building Codes Commission | Kalanimoku Building 1151 Punchbowl Street Honolulu, HI 96813 ~ (808) 586-0400 ~ ags.hawaii.gov/bcc

Quick Fact: The state of Hawaii passed a rule that as of July 2018, the state had to adopt the most recent edition of the model codes, including the NEC, within one year of publication. The four Hawaii counties — Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii – Big Island — have two years in which to adopt locally.

IDAHO • NEC-2017

Effective: July 1, 2017

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: Division of Building Safety, Electrical Bureau | 1090 E. Watertower Street, Suite 150 | Meridian, ID 83642 ~ (208) 334-3950 ~ dbs.idaho.gov

Quick Fact: The state of Idaho requires all electrical installations to comply with the NEC, which they adopt on a traditional three-year cycle. Based on
past adoptions, they are also likely to be adopting the NEC-2020 within the year.


(Commercial Occupancies for areas with no local adoption authority)

Effective: July 1, 2011

Enforcement: Local

Agency: Capital Development Board Building Codes & Regulations 3rd Floor Stratton | 401 South Spring Springfield, IL 62706 ~ illinois.gov/cdb/Pages/default.aspx

Quick Fact: The state of Illinois adopted the NEC-2008 statewide for non-building code jurisdictions. Those jurisdictions that have adopted a building code are not affected, but the rest of the state is. Some of the local jurisdictions that have adopted the NEC include:

  • City of Chicago — Chicago Electrical Code incorporates provisions of the NEC-2017, effective March 1, 2018
  • City of Springfield — NEC-2011, effective November 19, 2013
  • City of Decatur — NEC-2014
  • County of Peoria — NEC-2014
  • City of Rockford — NEC-2014
  • City of Joliet — NEC-2014
  • City of Champaign — NEC-2014
  • City of Aurora — NEC-2008 (residential), NEC-1999 (all others)


Effective: August 26, 2009

Enforcement: Hybrid

Agency: Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Fire & Building Safety Division Indiana Government Center South 302 West Washington Street Indianapolis, IN 46204 ~ (317) 232-2222 ~ in.gov/dhs/2375.htm

Quick Fact: Local jurisdictions are not allowed to adopt or enforce their own electrical code unless it has been approved by the Commission. The Office of the State Building Commissioner inspects all buildings and structures in areas without approved local building departments.

IOWA • NEC-2017

Effective: January 1, 2018

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: State Fire Marshal Division, Building Code Bureau | 215 East 7th St. Des Moines, IA 50319 ~ (515) 725-6145 ~ dps.iowa.gov/divisions/state-fire-marshal

Quick Fact: Iowa is an example of a state that has statewide adoption with amendments. For example, the Iowa board voted to retain several GFCI amendments from the NEC-2011 and voted to eliminate some of the AFCI requirements from 210.12(D) and 406.4(D)(4).


(State-owned buildings)

Effective: February 4, 2011

Enforcement: Local

Agency: Kansas State Fire Marshal 800 SW Jackson Street, Suite 104 Topeka, KS 66612-1216 ~ (785) 296-3401 ~ firemarshal.ks.gov

Quick Fact: The Kansas State Fire Marshal is responsible for enforcing the NEC- 2008 for state-owned buildings, but local jurisdictions can adopt and enforce different codes. Here are a few examples of local jurisdictions throughout Kansas:

  • Sedgwick County — NEC-2017
  • City of Olathe — NEC-2017, effective September 1, 2019
  • City of Lawrence — NEC 2017, effective July 1, 2019
  • City of Shawnee — NEC-2017
  • Wyandotte County and Kansas City, KS — NEC-2011
  • City of Overland Park — NEC-2011
  • City of Fort Scott — NEC-2011
  • City of Topeka — NEC-2017
  • City of Wichita — NEC-2017


Effective: January 1, 2019

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: Department of Housing, Buildings, and Construction | 101 Sea Hero Rd., Ste. 100 Frankfort, KY 40601 ~ (502) 573-0365 ~ dhbc.ky.gov/Pages/default.aspx

Quick Fact: Kentucky first adopted and began enforcement of the 2018 Kentucky Building Code (IBC-2015), 2018 Kentucky Residential Code (IRC-2015), and NEC- 2017 without amendments on August 22, 2018. However, a grace period was allowed until the beginning of 2019.


Effective: February 1, 2018

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: Louisiana State Uniform Code Council (LSUCCC) | 8181 Independence Blvd. | Baton Rouge, LA 70806 ~ (225) 922-0817 ~ lsuccc.dps.louisiana.gov

Quick Fact: The LSUCCC (Uniform Construction Code) adoption of the NEC- 2014 is mandatory for all construction, reconstruction, alterations to circuits, and additions to homes. No jurisdiction can adopt anything more or less stringent than what is adopted at the LSUCCC. The law requires that the state reviews, amends, and adopts the latest NEC within five years of publication. For example, 2017 NEC was published in 2016, and the state is required to adopt some form of it prior to August 2021.

MAINE • NEC-2017

Effective: July 1, 2017

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: Electricians’ Examining Board 35 State House Station Augusta, ME 04333-0035 ~ (207) 624-8457 ~ maine.gov/pfr/professionallicensing/ professions/electricians/index.html

Quick Fact: Maine released updated amendments on November 6, 2017, which then became mandatory throughout the state. Maine is another state on a three-year Code cycle, so they will likely adopt the NEC-2020 sometime this year.


Effective: January 1, 2016

Enforcement: Hybrid

Agency: Office of the State Fire Marshal 1201 Reisterstown Rd | Pikesville, MD 21208 ~ (410) 653-8980 | (800) 525-3124 ~ mdsp.maryland.gov/firemarshal/ Pages/StateFireMarshal.aspx

Quick Fact: Maryland’s State Fire Marshal’s office adopted the NEC-2014 and it applies to state-owned facilities and to any jurisdictions that have never adopted a statute to govern electrical work. Local jurisdictions that have adopted their own code include:

  • Division of Labor and Industry — NEC-2017
  • Prince George’s County — NEC-2014
  • Frederick County — NEC-2014, effective August 15, 2015
  • Baltimore County — NEC-2017, effective August 31, 2017
  • City of Baltimore — NEC-2014
  • Anne Arundel County — NEC- 2014, effective March 19, 2016
  • Queen Annes County — NEC- 2017, effective April 1, 2017
  • Charles County — NEC-2014, effective August 3, 2015


Effective: January 2020

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: Department of Fire Services 1 State Road | Stow, MA 01775 ~ (978) 567-3713 ~ mass.gov/service-details/ massachusetts-electrical-code

Quick Fact: Home to NFPA, which produces the NEC, Massachusetts is usually the first state to adopt the National Electrical Code at the beginning of each code cycle. This adoption is across all local jurisdictions as required by regulations and statute.


(Residential) NEC-2017 (Commercial)

Effective: January 4, 2019 (NEC-2017) and February 8, 2016 (NEC-2014)

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: Bureau of Construction Codes & Fire Safety | P.O. Box 30254 Lansing, MI 48909 ~ (517) 241-9313 ~ michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7- 154-89334_10575—,00.html

Quick Fact: The Michigan Electrical Code was updated in January 2019. The adoption of the NEC-2017 covers everything other than 1 and 2-family dwellings. These dwellings are still covered under the Michigan Residential Code Adoption, which uses the NEC-2014.


Effective: July 1, 2017

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: Department of Labor and Industry, Construction Codes and Licensing Division | 443 Lafayette Road N. St. Paul, MN 55155-434
~ (651) 284-5005
~ dli.mg.gov/business/electrical-contractors/electrical-codes-and-standards

Quick Fact: The Construction Codes and Licensing Division (CCLD) was created in 2005 with the consolidation of seven construction-related state programs. Minnesota is one of the states that typically adopts on a 3-year code cycle and is likely to adopt the NEC-2020 later this year.


Effective: N/A Enforcement: Local

Agency: Mississippi Department of Insurance, Fire Marshall State Building Code Commission | P.O. Box 79 | Jackson, MS 3920.
~ mid.ms.gov/ubc/ubc.aspx

Quick Fact: As of August 1, 2014, all counties and municipalities must enact uniform building codes (one of the last three adopted editions of the IRC) unless they opted out prior to November 30, 2014. Local jurisdictions that have adopted the NEC include:

  • City of Biloxi – NEC-2017, effective April 24, 2018
  • City of Gulfport – NEC-2017, effective September 1, 2018
  • City of Meridian – NEC-2017
  • City of Jackson – NEC-2014
  • City of Southaven – NEC- 2011, effective April 7, 2015
  • City of Hattiesburg – NEC-2011
  • City of Batesville – NEC-2011
  • City of Tupelo – NEC-2011, effective February 20, 2018


Effective: N/A

Enforcement: Local

Agency: Department of Public Safety, Division of Fire Safety | 205 Jefferson St., 14th Floor | Jefferson City, MO 65102 ~ (573) 751-2930 ~ dfs.dps.mo.gov

Quick Fact: The NEC-2005 was adopted for state-owned buildings, but local jurisdictions can adopt and enforce their own codes. Local jurisdictions that have adopted the NEC include:

  • City of Kansas City – NEC 2011, effective June 3, 2012
  • City of Jefferson – NEC-2014, effective October 21, 2017
  • City of St. Louis – NEC-2017, effective August 1, 2018
  • City of Springfield — NEC-2011
  • City of Columbia — NEC-2017, effective October 1, 2019
  • City of Independence — NEC-2017
  • City of Joplin — NEC-2017, effective April 2018
  • City of St. Joseph — NEC-2017


Effective: October 23, 2014

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: Montana Department of Labor & Industry, State Building Codes Bureau P.O. Box 200517 | Helena, MT 59620-0517 ~ (406) 841-2300 ~ bsd.dli.mt.gov/building-codes-permits

Quick Fact: Local jurisdictions may adopt a building code by ordinance but may only include codes adopted by the Building Codes Bureau, including the currently adopted NEC. Jurisdictions that have not adopted the code, especially unincorporated areas, fall under the jurisdiction of the State Building Codes Bureau.


Effective: August 1, 2017

Enforcement: Local

Agency: Nebraska Electrical Division 1220 Lincoln Mall, Suite 125 Lincoln, NE 68508 ~ (402) 471-3550 ~ electrical.nebraska.gov

Quick Fact: The State Electrical Act requires that licensees complete twelve contact hours of continuing education by January 1 of each odd-numbered year. These shall include a minimum of six contact hours studying the NEC. Nebraska is also a state that will most likely adopt the NEC-2020 this year based on past three-year code cycle trends.


Effective: N/A

Enforcement: Local

Agency: State Public Works Division 1830 E. Sahara Ave., Suite 204 Las Vegas, NV 89104 ~ (702) 486-5115 ~ publicworks.nv.gov

Quick Fact: Nevada does not adopt or enforce electrical building codes by state law and local jurisdictions are responsible for their own code adoptions, although some do group by regions to establish standards. Local jurisdictions that have adopted the NEC include:

  • Northern Nevada Region — NEC-2017
    + July 1, 2019
    + Participating jurisdictions include: Carson City, City of Sparks, Pershing County, City of Fernley, Douglas County, Washoe County, City of Reno, Lyon County, Storey County
  • Southern Nevada Region (Southern Nevada Building Officials) — NEC-2017
    + Participating jurisdictions include Clark County, Henderson, Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Boulder City, Mesquite, and Pahrump.


Effective: January 1, 2018

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: State Building Code Review Board | Commissioner’s Office Department of Safety | 33 Hazen Drive Concord, NH 03305 ~ (603) 223-4289 ~ nh.gov/safety/ boardsandcommissions/bldgcode

Quick Fact: The State Building Code Review Board (hereafter referred to as “BCRB”) is charged with the responsibility for reviewing and amending the New Hampshire Building Code. The State Fire Marshal’s Office reviews plans over state-owned property, the New Hampshire University System, educational occupancies, healthcare occupancies, and in locations where there is no code enforcement mechanism and the municipality has requested assistance.


Effective: September 3, 2019

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: Bureau of Code Services N.J. Department of Community Affairs 101 South Broad St. | Trenton, NJ 08625 ~ (609) 292-7899 ~ state.nj.us/dca/divisions/codes/codreg

Quick Fact: New Jersey enforces the Uniform Construction Code, which mandates everything from local building code adoption to licensing requirements. Electrical inspectors are required to take electrical certification examinations through the licensing program within the UCC.


Effective: February 1, 2018

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Requirements Department Electrical Bureau | 2550 Cerrillos Road Santa Fe, NM 87505 ~ (505) 476-4700 ~ rld.state.nm.us/construction/electrical.aspx

Quick Fact: The New Mexico Electrical Bureau reviews and recommends contents for the licensing and certification examinations for all electrical trades. It also performs state-wide electrical inspections in CID jurisdiction, electrical plan reviews and oversees electrical permitting.


Effective: October 2, 2016

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: New York State Department of State | Division of Code Enforcement and Administration | 99 Washington Ave, Suite 1160 | Albany, NY 12231 ~ (518) 474-4073 ~ dos.ny.gov/dcea

Quick Fact: New York State’s Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (Uniform Code) is adopted statewide except for New York City. The Department of Buildings (of NYC) currently enforces the NEC-2008, which took effect on July 1, 2011.


Effective: June 12, 2018

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: North Carolina Department of Insurance | Building Code Council 1202 Mail Service Center Raleigh NC 27699-1202 ~ (919) 647-0000 ~ ncdoi.com/OSFM

Quick Fact: Electrical installations are inspected by municipal and county electrical inspection departments. All municipal and county electrical inspectors must be certified by the North Carolina Code Officials Qualification Board. State-owned buildings are inspected by the North Carolina Department of Insurance, Engineering and Building Codes Division.


Effective: July 1, 2017

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: North Dakota State Electrical Board | 1929 North Washington Street, Ste A-1 | Bismarck, ND 58507-7335 ~ (701) 328-9522 ~ ndseb.com

Quick Fact: The North Dakota State Electrical Board has the responsibility to examine applicants and issue licenses to those having the necessary qualifications and knowledge in the laws of electricity and electrical codes. The board also has jurisdiction over all electrical installations. North Dakota is also likely to adopt the NEC-2020 this year based on past code cycles.

OHIO • NEC-2017

Effective: July 1, 2019

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: Board of Building Standards 6606 Tussing Road | P.O. Box 4009 Reynoldsburg, OH 43068-9009 ~ (614) 644-2613 ~ com.ohio.gov/dico/bbs

Quick Fact: The state of Ohio requires 30 hours of continuing education courses before renewal of residential and commercial personnel certification within a three-year period. These include building officials, electrical inspectors, plans examiners, and building inspectors.


Effective: September 15, 2017

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: Oklahoma Uniform Building Code Commission | 2401 NW 23rd Street, Suite 2F | Oklahoma City, OK 73107 ~ (405) 521-6550 ~ cib.ok.gov

Quick Fact: The adopted code is considered the state minimum. Also, as a result of State Bill 733 with an effective date of November 1, 2019, the Construction Industries Board began enforcement of licensing requirements for inspectors. All licenses performing building and construction inspections are required to meet all requirements for licensing and code standards.


Effective: October 1, 2017

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: Department of Consumer & Business Services (BCD) | Building Codes Division | P.O. Box 14470 Salem, OR 97309-0404 ~ (503) 378-4133 ~ oregon.gov/bcd/codes-stand/ Pages/electrical.aspx

Quick Fact: The Oregon Electrical Specialty Code (OESC) is based on NEC-2017 with amendments that are based on local geographic, climactic, or geologic conditions. Oregon also does not adopt the IRC, and Oregon does not adopt the IRC and has developed its own “Low-Rise Residential Code” to cover residential dwellings up to three stories.


Effective: October 1, 2018

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: Buildings Section Bureau of Occupational and Industrial Safety | Department of Labor and Industry 1600 Labor and Industry Building Harrisburg, PA 17120 ~ (717) 787-5279 ~ dli.pa.gov/ucc/Pages/UCC-Codes.aspx

Quick Fact: For all buildings and structures not regulated by the 2015 Residential Code, Chapter 27 (Electrical) requires compliance with the IBC-2015 and the NEC-2014. The IRC 2015 applies to one- and two-family dwellings no more than three stories in height. The City of Philadelphia was allowed to adopt the 2018 IBC and enforce the NEC-2017 for commercial installations only, all residential installations are per the 2015 IRC. Henceforth, they will coincide with the PA Uniform Construction Code when the State adopts the 2018 I-Codes.


Effective: August 1, 2019

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: Building Code Commission Building Code Standards Committee 560 Jefferson Boulevard, 2nd Floor, Suite 200 | Warwick, RI 02886 ~ (401) 889-5550 ~ ribcc.ri.gov

Quick Fact: Rhode Island Building Codes are amendments of the International Building Codes, which are used as the model. The adopted NEC is for mandatory application by governmental bodies that exercise legal jurisdictions over electrical installations and for use by insurance inspectors. Current legislation is ongoing to automatically adopt the NEC in the year of its publication.


Effective: January 1, 2020

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: Department of Labor, Licensing Requirements, and Regulation | South Carolina Building Codes Council 110 Centerview Dr. | Columbia, SC 29210 ~ (803) 896-4300 ~ llr.sc.gov/bcc

Quick Fact: South Carolina requires that all municipalities enforce building, energy, electrical, plumbing, mechanical, gas, and fire codes, relating to the construction, livability, sanitation, erection, energy efficiency, installation of equipment, alteration, repair, occupancy, classification, or removal of structures located within their jurisdictions as adopted by the state.


Effective: July 1, 2017

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: State Electrical Commission 308 S. Pierre St. | Pierre, SD 57501 ~ (800) 233-7765 ~ dlr.sd.gov/electrical/default.aspx

Quick Fact: South Dakota is one of the few states in which all electrical wiring installations must be inspected by a state electrical inspector. Seventeen state inspectors (as of October 2019) cover seventeen different districts, both commercial and residential. South Dakota is another state likely to adopt the NEC-2020 this year based on a three-year code cycle.


Effective: March 19, 2018

Enforcement: Hybrid

Agency: Department of Commerce & Insurance | Electrical Inspection Section Information | State Fire Marshal | 500 James Robertson Pkwy Nashville, TN 37243 ~ (615) 741-7170 ~ tn.gov/commerce/fire-prevention.html

Quick Fact: Thirty local jurisdictions have been granted exemptions and are authorized to perform independent plans reviews. The City of Athens and Shelby County, for example both enforce the NEC-2014

TEXAS • NEC-2017

Effective: September 15, 2017

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: Texas Department of Licensing Requirements and Regulation P.O. Box 12157 | Austin, Texas 78711 ~ (512) 463-6599 ~ tdlr.texas.gov

Quick Fact: The adopted code is considered to be the “minimum standard” for all electrical work in Texas covered under state law. However, municipalities are allowed to make local amendments.

UTAH • NEC-2014 (Residential) NEC-2017 (Commercial)

Effective: July 1, 2016 (Residential) July 1, 2018 (Commercial)

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing Requirements Uniform Building Code Commission P.O. Box 146741 | Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6741 ~ (801) 530-6628 ~ dopl.utah.gov/programs/ubc/index.html

Quick Fact: When the Utah Legislature adopted the NEC-2014 and 2015 I-codes back in March 2016, a provision was added that the residential codes would be on a six-year code cycle, rather than a three-year.


Effective: October 1, 2017

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: Electrician’s Licensing Requirements Board | 1311 U.S. Route 302, Suite 600 | Barre, VT 05641-2351 ~ (802) 479-7564 ~ firesafety.vermont.gov/licensing/electrical

Quick Fact: The Vermont Electrical Safety Codes are also adopted on a three-year code cycle. Electrical installation work in the process of construction at the time of the adoption of the new code, or where a work notice has been validated and work is commenced within 30 days of the adoption, may be completed per the last valid NEC. Being on a three-year code cycle, Vermont may adopt the NEC-2020 this year.


Effective: September 4, 2018

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development Main Street Centre | 600 E. Main Street, Suite 300 | Richmond, VA 23219 ~ (804) 371-7000 ~ dhcd.virginia.gov

Quick Fact: The Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC) is updated on a three-year cycle and must be complied with when constructing a new building, structure, or addition to an existing building. The updated codes must also be used when maintaining or repairing an existing building or renovating or changing the use of a building.


Effective: July 1, 2017

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: Department of Labor and Industries, Electrical Division P.O. Box 44000 | Olympia, WA 98504 ~ (360) 902-5800 ~ lni.wa.gov/tradeslicensing/electrical

Quick Fact: The Department of Labor and Industries is in the process of updating the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 296-46B, Electrical Safety Standards, Administration, and Installation rules to the NEC-2020, to be effective July 1, 2020.


Effective: August 1, 2016

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: West Virginia State Fire Marshal 1207 Quarrier St. (2nd Flr.) Charleston, WV 25301 ~ (304) 558-2191 ~ firemarshal.wv.gov/Pages/default.aspx

Quick Fact: The State Fire Commission establishes the State Building Code (Title 87), which establishes the minimum standards of safe construction of all structures erected or renovated throughout the state.


Effective: August 1, 2018 (Commercial)  January 1, 2020 (Residential)

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: Department of Safety and Professional Services | 4822 Madison Yards Way| Madison, WI 53705 ~ (608) 266-2112 ~ dsps.wi.gov/Pages/RulesStatutes/ TradesProgram.aspx

Quick Fact: All electrical wiring, installations, equipment and materials used in the construction of dwellings are required to comply with the requirements of the Wisconsin Administrative Electrical Code. Prior to January of this year, residential installations were required to use the NEC-2011.


Effective: July 1, 2017

Enforcement: Statewide

Agency: Wyoming State Fire Marshal Department of Fire Prevention and Electrical Safety | 320 West 25th Street, 3rd Floor | Cheyenne, WY 82002 ~ (307) 777-7288 ~ wsfm.wyo.gov

Quick Fact: Wyoming traditionally works on a three-year cycle and is expected to adopt the NEC-2020 in the summer of this year.
Find the latest updates online at iaeimagazine.org/magazine/ nec-code-adoption/united-states. I also highly recommend subscribing to NEMA Code Alerts at nema.org/Technical/ Code-Alerts/pages/default.aspx as their outstanding Field Representatives pull together information from state and local jurisdictions regarding code adoptions and publish updates throughout the year.

Is your local or state jurisdiction going to update their adopted NEC, CEC, or other electrical code? Send us at note at editorial@iaei.org, and we’ll put it in the next edition of Code Watch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *