group photo with heat pump it up tee shirts and heat pump it up sign
A major effort and momentum for all-electric homes in WA

Friday, Oct 14th was a big day, and it was a great one. 

Nearly 40 folks showed up in person at the State Building Codes Council hearing in Olympia.  Dozens of others showed up on Zoom for the hearing making for a total of 64 folks testifying (in person and on zoom) in support of the energy code updates (only 24 voices in opposition).

This has been a major effort to ensure that our new homes are built all-electric—without relying on fossil gas—and we wanted to acknowledge all the hard work, passion, and commitment that’s gone in to making climate-friendly, healthy homes a reality for Washington. 

In the last few months many, many people made their voices heard in favor of these healthier, climate-friendly homes: 4,650 to be exact! Not only that but:

  • 17 environmental organizations contributed to this campaign.
  • There were letters from 18 building industry organizations, 7 affordable housing organizations, 16 racial justice organizations, 2 health care organizations, and over 100 faith leaders.
  • 68 local elected officials from all parts of the state. 

This incredible showing really represents the fabric and diversity of our community by demonstrating who is affected, and who is wanting to create a better way forward.

We think the State Building Code Council will make its decision in November. We will keep you updated. We hope the SBCC will follow its actions from earlier this year when Washington passed the most climate-friendly statewide building energy codes in the country for new commercial and multi-family (four stories and above) buildings.

We will make an official announcement as soon as the decision is made.

For now, thank you everyone that has done a great job in working to assure we build our homes without fossil fuels in the future. Take a breather, thank yourselves and everyone you know who helped get to this moment. This is how positive change is made.

Author Bio

Joëlle Robinson

Field Director, Climate Solutions

Joëlle engages community members and diverse constituencies—faith, health, youth, parents, business—to make their voices heard for climate solutions. She led the team of organizers to ensure we stopped any coal export from the U.S. West Coast over the past decade. On offense, she co-led the Field team to help pass the 100% Clean Electricity (Clean Energy Transition Act in 2019) and in 2022 collaborated with the Field team to ensure that all new buildings (commercial and residential) will be built with heat pumps per the State Building Code Council. She continues to conspire for good with them on many other local and state initiatives.

Joëlle was the Regional Outreach Coordinator of National Wildlife Federation where she focused on mobilizing hunters, anglers and concerned citizens around solutions to global warming. Previous work with Climate Solutions includes the NW Climate Connections partnership, serving as the Field Assistant for the successful Clean Cars campaign, and Field Director of the Renewable Fuel Standard, which passed in April 2006.

She previously served on the boards of Earth Ministry, Solar Washington, and Sierra Club Executive Committee. She’s currently President of the board of her 3 year-old!

Joëlle is Northwest born and raised who loves to hike, dance, travel and explore the natural world.

Her favorite quote is “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” —  Mary Oliver