Build Idaho | 2020 BOISE IDAHO REAL ESTATE BLOG
Stop Federal Energy Code Mandates! Main Boise Home Builder
The House of Representatives is expected to vote Friday on climate change legislation that will create mandatory national energy code requirements for all homes and buildings. Call your Representatives today at 1-866-924-NAHB (6242) or, if you are a member of NAHB, write them at www.capitolconnect.com/builderlink and voice your opposition.

 

I have been building energy-efficient homes and building for 10 years. I am a member of the Department of Energy’s Building America Program, an Energy Star 100% Partner, and a Certified Green Professional. However, I join with the National Association of Home Builders in opposing H.R. 2454 and I am asking you to do the same.
 
The H.R. 2454, the "American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009," contains mandatory national energy code requirements for all homes and buildings.  Beginning on the date this bill becomes law, all newly-constructed homes and buildings must be 30% above the 2006 IECC; 50% above the 2006 IECC by 2014 (2015 for commercial buildings); and at least 75% above the 2006 IECC by 2029 (2030 for commercial buildings).  For any State or locality that cannot certify to the DOE that it has adopted an energy code that meets the national targets, the DOE can establish a national energy code.
 
Other provisions in H.R. 2454 include:
·         Federal violations to be levied against builders or owners of a building if they permit occupancy of a home or building that is out of compliance with the national energy targets, even if the state refuses to adopt the new code, because the national building code will be in effect regardless.
·         If a state or locality is out of compliance with the codes, it will not receive emission allowances under any cap and trade plan. Also, states will lose federal funding from other parts of the bill on a sliding scale for each year of non-compliance.
·         If a state or locality fails to enforce either a compliant code or the national building code, then the DOE will enforce codes federally through “inspections” and enforcement fees.
·         The DOE will also assess a civil penalty for violators of this section. Each day of unlawful occupancy is considered a separate violation. If the home is constructed out of compliance with the provisions of this bill and it has been conveyed by a knowing builder or a knowing seller to an unknowing purchaser, then the builder or seller is the violator. The U.S. District Court has jurisdiction for all legal issues.
 
The arbitrary energy targets contained in H.R. 2454 will increase the cost of housing in America.  Greater energy efficiency in housing is critical, but it cannot be achieved through unrealistic energy code requirements that do not consider paybacks to consumers or inflicts serious harm on marginal first-time homebuyers and lower-income families attempting to move into more efficient housing.
 
H.R. 2454 targets new construction but does nothing to address existing homes. The vast majority of America’s homes were built before 1990, long before modern energy codes were created. According to the 2007 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, the total number of housing units in the U.S. was 127,895,430. 74.1% or 94,801,618 were built before 1990. 13.9% or 17,828,183 were built between 1990 and 2000. 8.6% or 11,046,721 were built between 2000 and 2004. And 3.3% or 4,218,908 were built after 2005. 
 
According to government data, the homes built before 2000 represent 88% of the total number of homes in the U.S. and consume 19.59% of the total energy we use or 90.6% of the energy consumed by homes. The homes built between 1990 and 2000 represent 13.9% of the total number of homes in the U.S. and consume 2.52% of total energy consumption or 11.7% of the energy consumed by homes. Homes built after 2000 represent 11.9% of the total number of homes in the U.S. and account for 2.02% of the total energy consumed or 9.3% of the energy consumed by homes. The homes built before 1990 represent 74.1% of the total number of homes in the U.S. and consume 17% of our total energy consumption or 78.9% of the energy consumed by homes.
 
If the code provisions aren't enough, H.R. 2454 also contains a section creating a Natural Resource Adaptation Strategy.  Federal agencies with jurisdiction over natural resources, including agencies considering permits under the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the ESA, and other environmental laws, would have to consider the "impacts of climate change and ocean acidification on those natural resources."  This would cause significant problems for builders seeking federal permits. 
 
How You Can Help
 
Call your Representatives toll-free at 1-866-924-NAHB (6242) or write them at www.capitolconnect.com/builderlink by Friday, June 26, 2009, and tell them NOT to support H.R. 2454, the "American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009." 
 
Tell them H.R. 2454:
·         will increase the cost of housing in America, especially for first-time homebuyers and lower-income families.
·         misses the energy efficiency mark by focusing only on new homes.  An integrated energy efficiency strategy must include existing homes, equipment efficiency and consumer behavior. 
·         will undermine almost every national green standard and rating system available today (including the National Green Building Standard™, LEED, Green Globes, and Green Communities) because they do not achieve the highest energy code levels specified in H.R. 2454.
·         will undermine States' rights to determine appropriate building efficiency for homes and buildings within their jurisdiction, resulting in inefficient application of efficiency standards to address varying climate zones and specific needs.
 
Chuck Miller GMB   CGB CGP   MIRM   CMP   MCSP   CSP
President / Builder – Chuck Miller Construction Inc.
(208) 229-2553
 
Posted by Chuck Miller at 6/24/2009 4:39:00 PM
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Michelle Penick, Boise Idaho Real Estate Agent

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