Bill Mandates Major Reductions in Buildings' Energy Use

AGC opposes legislation to significantly tighten building envelopes and save energy as a means to reduce greenhouse gasses.

The bill (HB 1747) would require the Department of Community Trade & Economic Development (CTED) to develop and implement a strategic plan for enhancing energy efficiency in and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from homes buildings districts and neighborhoods.

The bill would also require the State Building Code Council to adopt state Energy Codes that require homes and buildings constructed from 2016 through 2031 to meet energy efficiency targets using the adopted 2006 State Energy Code as a baseline. The adopted codes would require that new buildings and homes achieve reductions in energy use ranging from a 40 percent reduction by 2013 to a 70 percent reduction by 2031.

AGC supports increased energy efficiency and the construction industry has contributed a great deal of expertise in improved efficiency over the years said AGC Legislative Counsel Van Collins. But this bill takes the wrong approach with unreasonable mandates and no guidance on how those mandates could be achieved. Its a ready-fire-aim tactic.

HB 1747 is also one of the environmental communitys four priorities for this session and was co-authored with the American Institute of Architects. HB 1747 is expected to move out of committee. It has been heard in the House Committee on Technology Energy and Communications and is scheduled to be voted on in committee on Feb. 16.

It is sponsored by Representatives Rolfes Chase Upthegrove Hasegawa Eddy Liias Ormsby Pedersen Dunshee McCoy Morris Carlyle Dickerson Hudgins Moeller Sells Kenney White and Nelson.

Contact Van Collins at 360-352-5000 with questions or comments.