Remember last year when Washington set a national standard by fighting for and winning the nation's strongest, cleanest energy codes for new buildings? The building industry is now trying to take that win away by asking the State Building Code Council to delay implementing the codes set to go into effect on July 1, 2023.
The opposition is already sending letters to the State Building Code Council asking for this delay when the council meets this Friday, May 19. Can you send a message today asking councilmembers to reject delays on these crucial codes?
The opposition’s reasoning for the delay is the recent 9th Circuit Court legal decision that invalidated the City of Berkeley, California’s electrification ordinance. The only problem? That legal battle is very much still in progress. Berkeley is widely expected to request a rehearing by the end of the month, so it’s pointless to delay now when we will know more in a few weeks. Also, the federal statute that the 9th Circuit cited, the Energy Policy Conservation Act (EPCA), has an exemption that explicitly allows building and energy codes to set higher efficiency standards as the SBCC residential and commercial energy codes do.
This is no time for delays on climate action. Just last weekend, we saw an unprecedented May heat wave across our state. We need these codes implemented on schedule to help reduce fossil fuel use and build resilient homes and buildings that provide heating and cooling together by using energy-efficient heat pumps.
Don’t let the opposition succeed with their delay tactics – we won last year and we can do it again!