H 201 Passes Out of Committee, Increases Operating Costs of New Buildings

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 18, 2013

H 201 Passes Out of Committee, Increases Operating Costs of New Buildings

Measure would go back on state’s commitments

RALEIGH, NC - Earlier today the Senate Commerce Committee approved H 201 on a voice vote. The bill would revert commercial building codes to 2009 standards, which are effectively 2004 standards. In other words, H 201 would reduce minimum energy efficiency requirements in commercial construction by 30%.

The bill now heads to the full Senate.

“Energy efficient building codes put North Carolinians to work.  The current code creates jobs in a wide range of industries including manufacturing, transportation and the design and construction of new buildings” said Molly Diggins, State Director.

Mississippi, which has historically ranked last in the country in efficiency standards, has an improved building code going into effect on July 1, 2013.  South Carolina’s current minimum code for commercial buildings would be 15% more efficient than North Carolina’s if H 201 becomes law. 

“For businesses seeking to open up shop in the Southeast, North Carolina would become far less attractive than our neighbors for the cost of operating commercial buildings”, said Diggins.  “Energy bills for new commercial buildings in our state would be 15% to 30% higher than South Carolina and Mississippi.”

According to a report from Appalachian State University, current codes will save North Carolina businesses and residents an average of $67 million per year and save a total of $2 billion over 30 years.

A full map of current codes can be found at the US Department of Energy’s website: http://www.energycodes.gov/adoption/states

In addition, if the bill becomes law, North Carolina would appear be going back on the commitments it made in March of 2009 to receive its share of $3.1 billion in funds from the US Department of Energy (DOE).  In order to secure grants and incentives, the state of North Carolina assured the DOE that the state would:

●       implement a building energy code for commercial buildings throughout the state that meets or exceeds the ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007; and,

●       adopt a plan for achieving compliance with the above referenced energy code in at least 90 percent of the new and renovated residential and commercial buildings within eight years.

Federal funds were received and spent, partially for development of the building codes and training of the state’s 4000 building officials.  North Carolina updated its building codes, consistent with the conditions of funding. H 201 undoes North Carolina’s agreement.

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