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2012 Washington State Energy Code

Our code experts provide support to those who use the residential sections of the Washington State Energy Code (WSEC). The 2012 code went into effect July 1, 2013 (visit the State Building Code Council website for updates).

Have questions about the residential code?
Email or call the WSEC Residential Code Hotline at (360) 956-2042. Other resources to help you are:

Code Text
Compliance Publications & Help
Energy Code Worksheets
Scheduled Trainings
List of Duct Testers
Presentations & Videos
Hot Topics

We also offer resources for the 2009 Washington State Energy Code. For non-residential code resources, contact the Northwest Energy Efficiency Council.



Sign up to receive email updates about energy code changes and educational opportunities from the Energy Code listserv.

Code Text

We provide support regarding the residential code only.

2012 Washington State Energy Code – Residential

2012 Washington State Energy Code – Commercial

2012 Washington State Energy Code – Appendices

Compliance Publications & Tools

These resources pertain to the residential sections of the 2012 WSEC.

Energy Code Worksheets

Forms and worksheets for the 2012 WSEC have changed. Instead of being incorporated into one workbook, the Prescriptive Worksheet, the Glazing Schedule and the Heating System Sizing Calculator are independent documents.

  • Prescriptive Method. The prescriptive approach is the simplest method of WSEC code compliance. Meet all the minimum insulation levels required by Prescriptive requirements for the climate zone where the building is being constructed and choose additional credits and the project complies with the building envelope. The following Excel file provides a method for documenting compliance with the prescriptive standards.
  • Glazing Schedule. Using the Prescriptive Method, all glazing must have an “area weighted average” U-Factor of .30. This means that some windows can have a higher U-Factor than .30 and some can have a lower U-factor than .30 as long as the area weighted average is U-.30 or lower. You may need to complete this form to document glazing compliance when applying for your building permit.
  • Heating System Sizing Calculator. This calculator is a simpler version of previous worksheets and is for newly constructed buildings. The 2012 WSEC Heating System Sizing calculator assumes that your glazing products have an area weighted average of U-.30. Use the dropdown boxes to choose insulation levels and enter the areas of each building component. The form has embedded instructions-hover your curser over the red triangles to see them. Note that this calculator sizes heating systems only. It will not accurately size cooling systems.
  • Component Performance Approach (2012 WSEC). Please contact WSU at or 360-956-2042 for a 2012 version of the CP Worksheet.

Scheduled Trainings

The WSU Extension Energy Program offers training on the residential sections of the 2012 WSEC and on duct testing protocols. Training details and schedule.

List of Duct Testers

We have compiled a list of individuals who have attended the one-day Duct Testing Training offered by the WSU Extension Energy Program and meet the minimum requirements to test ducts for the 2012 Washington State Energy Code.

Technicians who can verify that they have successfully completed duct testing training provided by the Northwest ENERGY STAR Program or from Performance Tested Comfort Systems (PTCS) may also be qualified to test ducts under the 2012 Washington State Energy Code (WSEC). For a database of PTCS technicians, refer to: For a database of Northwest ENERGY STAR verifiers, refer to:

Presentations and Videos

Duct Sealing Video

"Duct Sealing for Comfort, Energy and Indoor Air Quality" (16:45 min.)

Air Leakage In Homes: The Invisible Thief

Our air sealing video is divided into seven chapters so that you may choose to view all of the chapters or only those that are specific to your needs.

Washington State Energy Code Presentations

Although these trainings are frequently modified to meet jurisdictional needs and improve quality, here is what you will see or what you saw at a WSU Extension Energy Program residential energy code training.

"Hot Topic" Archives


Click on the question to show or hide the answer

Support and Training

Q: I have a Washington State Energy Code (WSEC) question – who do I contact?
WSU Extension Energy Program is funded to provide technical assistance on the residential sections of the WSEC.

Phone: 360-956-2042
Contact: Gary Nordeen, Luke Howard, Emily Salzberg and Tanya Beavers

The Northwest Energy Efficiency Council (NEEC) provides technical assistance on the non-single family residential and commercial sections of the WSEC.

Phone: 206-624-0283
Contact: Lisa Rosenow
Q: I would like to attend an Energy Code class, how do I find out more information?
A: From our website, you can view upcoming trainings by clicking on the “Events and Trainings” link. Online registration is available for classes that are posted. If you do not see a class time or location that works for you, you may sign up for the email Listserv which will notify you of trainings as they are scheduled.

Duct and Blower Door Testing

Q: Do you have to be certified to perform blower door testing?
A: No. At this time, the 2012 WSEC does not require a certification to perform an air leakage test on a house. We highly recommend that air leakage testing personnel attend the one day duct and air leakage class to make sure that they are aware of the maximum allowed leakage rates, test pressures and proper set-up of the testing equipment.

Energy Code Requirements

Q: Where can I find a copy of a previous energy code? My house was built in 19XX, what were the energy code requirements then?
A: Depending on how the home originally complied with the energy code, the prescriptive requirements of the WSEC may or may not apply. Homes may have used component performance or systems analysis as a means to comply with the code. Systems analysis was used far more frequently in the 1990’s than it is used now.

Also, the appropriate code version is determined by the date on which a building department received a complete permit application, not the date of construction. If a house was built in XXXX year, the permit could have been issued under a previous code version.

Download copies of previous energy codes

New - 2012

Q: In the 2012 WSEC the Climate Zones have changed. What are the new Climate Zone designations?
A: Washington State has three ICC designated Climate Zones-Climate Zones 5, 6 and Marine 4. Climate Zone 5 and Marine 4 have the same energy code requirements. The map shows Climate Zones for counties in Washington State.
Q: Have the duct leakage rates changed in the 2012 WSEC?
A: Yes. The duct maximum leakage rates in the 2012 WSEC are 4% of the conditioned floor area of the structure. This rate applies to all test methods-total duct leakage at rough-in, total duct leakage at final and leakage to exterior test.