AUSTIN (Austin Business Journal) – A proposal to adopt the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code and require housing starts to undergo energy inspections has been sent to the city council.

The proposed law would mandate testing for every single- or two-family unit by outside contractors. The current rule requires only a sampling of similar new housing by the same builder to be tested.

Multifamily complexes and attached buildings would still undergo testing of a random sample of units.

The ordinance would increase the minimum sf for requiring a check of heating, ventilation and cooling equipment for new commercial buildings from 5,000 to 10,000 sf, costing owners 25 to 50 cents per sf.

The proposal was recommended 5-0 by the Building and Fire Code Board of Appeals on Nov. 4 and recommended 5-1 by the Mechanical Plumbing and Solar Board 13 days later. It will most likely go before the city council in the new year.

The 2009 international energy code is a national code; statewide adoption is required to receive federal stimulus funds.