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No reason to delay climate action on buildings in WA

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.  

Please contact the State Building Codes Council now. 

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!

Author Bio

Deep Sivarajan
Deepa Sivarajan

Washington Local Policy Manager, Climate Solutions

Deepa works to advance policies that will facilitate an equitable and just shift to clean energy in Washington. Deepa is passionate about ensuring that environmental justice communities are represented in local and state policy development and implementation. Prior to joining Climate Solutions, Deepa served as a project manager at the public engagement and communications firm EnviroIssues, working with local government agencies to involve communities in planning processes for transportation and urban planning projects. Deepa also has a background in environmental and electoral organizing, including advocating for wilderness protection with the Sierra Club.

Deepa holds an M.A. in Climate & Society from Columbia University, focused on climate policy and law, as well as a B.A. in Government and Women’s & Gender Studies from Georgetown University. Deepa was born and raised in Seattle; in free time Deepa enjoys reading and writing speculative fiction, cuddling the parents’ dog, and drinking way too much tea.

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