NBI Encourages Washington State to Maintain Leadership on Energy Codes

With all the recent success improving the efficiency of national model energy codes (see 2012 IECC and 90.1 2010), it is easy to lose sight of the fact that codes are adopted and enforced on a state-by-state basis. NBI Executive Director Dave Hewitt and I drove up to Olympia, Wash., earlier this week to encourage legislators to hold on to the state’s leadership position on efficiency in energy codes. The legislature is considering HB 1388, a bill that would unnecessarily delay efficiency improvements to the state energy code until April 1, 2012. This would be a significant setback to Washington’s goal of incrementally moving to a 70% reduction in building energy consumption by 2031, using the 2006 State Energy Code as a baseline.In his testimony, Dave Hewitt encouraged the Technology, Energy & Communications Committee not to be distracted by continued efforts to question the cost-effectiveness of energy efficiency. The energy and cost savings of the measures outlined in Washington’s energy code have been proven again and again. Codes with similar efficiency levels are already in place across the country.Energy efficiency should not be thrown under the bus because some builders are reluctant to change; instead energy efficiency should be, as noted by Hewitt, “recognized as an inexpensive way to create consumer and societal benefits by saving energy while improving the fundamental housing investment; a very safe and solid financial package for everyone involved.”