Government Affairs Committee

Chair: Meghan McNulty


The Government Affairs Committee (GAC) is actively involved in providing current and relevant information to chapter members regarding local and state governmental activities where the design industry, energy initiatives, and building codes may be impacted.  The Committee promotes ASHRAE standards to governing officials by being actively involved in keeping local, provincial and state governments updated on technical issues.

Since the establishment of the Government Affairs Committee in 2013, educating governmental officials has been the primary focus.  This has been especially true when considering the positive or detrimental affects potential alterations to building codes and/or energy codes may have in the design industry and energy sector. During the legislative session, we will schedule a Day on the Hill event, where volunteers meet with their state representatives to discuss how ASHRAE can be a resource for them, and to let them know their constituents are experts in topics related to the built environment, such as energy codes, refrigerant safety, energy efficiency in existing buildings, and indoor environmental quality. 

ASHRAE Atlanta members who are interested in taking a greater role in GAC's work should fill out our 2018-2019 advocacy survey, or contact GAC Chair Meghan McNulty

Key Local Issues for Fall 2018

Statewide in Georgia

Voting Registration Deadline – October 9th

General Elections will be held on Tuesday, November 6th for all major state executive branch positions (like Governor) and federal and state legislators, in addition to local positions. The deadline to register to vote is October 9th. Visit the Georgia My Voter Page: 

Official Approval of the Updated Energy Code

The 2015 IECC with Georgia Amendments (along with the new residential code and building code) will be presented to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Board on November 14th in Statesboro, GA. If approved, the new code will become effective January 1, 2020. Expect trainings related to the energy code to start this fall and extend throughout 2019. For more information about all DCA meetings and code task force meetings, as well as the current effective codes, visit the DCA website:

Around Atlanta

Mayor’s Office of Resilience

The Mayor’s Office of Resilience has several initiatives that address energy efficiency, carbon reduction, and sustainability.

  • ·         Clean Energy Plan – the draft of the city’s vision for a 100% clean energy future has been released:
  • ·         Commercial Buildings Energy Efficiency Ordinance – 2018 is the first year that ASHRAE Level 2 energy audits are required for a subset of commercial office building within city limits: ASHRAE Atlanta is providing technical assistance to the OoR and additional volunteers are always welcome.
  • ·         Solarize Atlanta – the community-based solar energy purchasing campaign has extended its deadline for residential applications to October 31st for residential applications and December 31st for commercial applications. For FAQs, upcoming open house presentations, and applications, visit 

Smoke-Free ATL

A coalition led by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Smoke-Free ATL, is spearheading an effort to eliminate indoor smoking in the City of Atlanta. The Georgia Smoke-free Air Act of 2005 prohibited smoking in many workplaces, but still allowed for smoking in bars and restaurants that meet certain requirements, including dedicated 100% outside air ventilation systems, and Smoke-Free ATL aims to remove that allowance within city limits. Learn more about their campaign here:

ASHRAE first published a position document on Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) in 2010 to affirm that the only means of effectively eliminating health risks associated with indoor ETS exposure is to ban all smoking activity. President Shelia Hayter wrote a letter to the Atlanta City Council in July to share ASHRAE’s expertise in indoor environmental quality and support of banning indoor smoking. View her letter here:

Current Georgia Energy Code Resources

Georgia’s Department of Community Affairs maintains the list of all current mandatory and permissive state construction codes, as well as copies of the state-specific amendments for each code here:

The US Department of Energy maintains an extensive database of building energy codes for all states:

Georgia’s current energy code has been in effect since January 1, 2011. For residential buildings, the code follows the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (2009 IECC) plus Georgia State Supplements and Amendments (2011). For commercial buildings, there are two options:

  • ·         2009 IECC plus Georgia State Supplements and Amendments (2011, 2012), OR
  • ·         ASHRAE 90.1-2007
  • o   The 90.1 option is referenced in 2009 IECC Chapter 5, Section 501
  • o   The 2007 version of 90.1 is specified in 2009 IECC Chapter 6: Referenced Standards

The International Code Council provides free online access to the codes, including 2009 IECC here:

For all Georgia State Supplements and Amendments to IECC 2009:

Stay up-to-date on government affairs around the country on the federal and state level, through ASHRAE's bi-weekly update emails - subscribe here.

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