The NC Senate Rules Committee is about to vote on a bill that will decrease the resilience and efficiency of new homes and your state senator is on this committee.
The NC Building Code Council (BCC) has proposed updated codes to increase energy efficiency by 16%, saving homeowners almost $400 a year in utility costs. Updating the codes in line with the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code will create thousands of new jobs, boost the North Carolina economy and result in $5.3 billion in savings to residential consumers over a thirty-year period.
Meanwhile legislators, backed by the NC Home Builders Association, have introduced HB488. This bill will divide the BCC in two, with one set of codes for commercial buildings and a lower standard for residential structures. At the same time, the bill throws out two years of work by the BCC’s energy committee to make our homes more efficient and resilient to extreme weather. Commercial, industrial, and residential buildings account for 39% of North Carolina’s carbon footprint.
The House has already approved this bill. Please call and email Senator Warren Daniel’s office to let them know you support the Building Code Council’s proposal and oppose HB488 and its senate counterpart S378. Please copy the senator’s legislative assistant, Andy Perrigo, on any emails that you send.
Sample phone script:
“Senator Daniel this is Your Name. I am a constituent and live in Your City/Town. I’m very concerned that HB488, and its senate counterpart S378, will cost North Carolinian’s billions of dollars and make our homes less resilient to extreme weather events like hurricanes. I urge you to vote against this bill and allow the Building Code Council’s update to be advanced through the normal procedure.”
Subject: Vote No on S378
Dear Senator Daniel,
I urge you to vote NO on H488 and its senate counterpart S378. Please support more resilient and energy-efficient building codes for homes in North Carolina. This bill would delay the hard work of NC’s Building Code Council to bring the state’s outdated 2009 energy codes up to modern standards. And in fact, would prevent the state from seeing updated energy codes until 2031.
Updating the state’s codes to 2021 levels would lead to a 16.3% annual energy savings for new homeowners, which is timely given that North Carolina’s largest utilities are proposing to increase rates by as much as 20% over the next three years. In addition, these code improvements would help new homeowners protect their investment against the risk of natural disasters by improving the structural integrity of their homes.
Updating the codes in line with the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code will create thousands of new jobs, boost the North Carolina economy, and result in $5.3 billion in savings to residential consumers over a thirty-year period. Not updating the codes means higher utility bills and increased insurance rates, and the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in Federal grants. As noted by Mike Causey, the Republican Insurance Commissioner, delaying building code updates “could disqualify cities and counties from federal Building Resilient Infrastructure Program (BRIC) grants,” and could have “long-term consequences to the citizens through adverse effects on insurance rates…. caused by … a residential code that could age 16 years before the next …update cycle.…”
Your choice should be clear: vote NO on S378.