1770-S AMH GRIF H2707.1
SHB 1770 - H AMD 973
By Representative Griffey
NOT ADOPTED 02/13/2022
Strike everything after the enacting clause and insert the following:
"NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1. (1) The legislature finds that Washington has an affordable housing crisis. There are only nine out of 49 counties where households can afford to purchase the median value home. In the most populous county the median home price is over $500,000. It is imperative that the government take steps to make homes more affordable and ensure that the energy code is reliant on readily available technology that is easily procured by the industry.
(2) The state building code council was directed in 2009 to achieve a 70 percent reduction in annual net energy consumption for residential and nonresidential construction by 2031. This reduction has increased the cost of housing, restricted the amount of windows that are allowed, and has been a struggle because the technology to achieve the energy efficiency is not broadly available in the market.
(3) Based on opposition from builders, engineers, air conditioning contractors, utility providers, electricity providers, natural gas providers, real estate agents, plumbers, pipefitters, HVAC service technicians, laborers, and contractors, the transition requirements to 80 percent reduction of annual net energy consumption and net zero ready buildings within four years after the 2031 deadline is aspirational and unwanted by the industry.
(4) The legislature finds that natural sunlight is good for people's health. It finds that houses should have windows that allow natural light and the ability to have fresh air circulate within a building. A requirement to reduce net energy consumption drastically requires fewer windows because windows cause the need for higher energy consumption in the winter to provide heat and air conditioning in the summer.
(5) The legislature finds for safety reasons it is important that homes are not reliant on just electricity, which is what net zero homes would require. It is important that homes have a second source of power to provide heat during winter storms when the power goes out. Natural gas heat is reliable and low cost in many locations. Natural gas fireplaces are a desirable aesthetic option in homes, as well as a back up source for heat.
(6) The legislature finds that the national renewable energy laboratory found that western Washington is the worst place outside of Alaska to put solar panels. Solar in Washington is the most expensive way to generate low carbon dioxide energy. Prewiring for solar panels adds over $1,000 in costs to a home and may never be used. The average payback period for solar panels if installed is 25 to 29 years. Solar panels require adjustment, cleaning, and maintenance that the average homeowner may not be able to provide, thus making it not an ideal form of energy for working families, seniors, and individuals with mobility issues.
(7) The legislature finds for every $1,000 additional cost in a home, 2,524 more households are unable to qualify for a new mortgage in state. Strengthening the energy code with making a home net zero ready and prewiring solar panels will price tens of thousands of households out of the market, which is an undesirable outcome. It is more important to provide homes for each person that have reliable heat, hot water, and appliances at an affordable rate and avoid people living in tents on the side of the road.
(8) The legislature finds that the industry is more knowledgeable about what is possible in the marketplace to improve livability in homes while providing increased energy efficiency. There is no need for a local reach code created by government entities that will add confusion, inconsistency, and need for training of building code inspectors.
(9) The legislature respects the industry's need to have a consistent, achievable energy code. It acknowledges that this is why the state adopts codes created by the international code council. This organization makes gradual, industry-approved updates to the building codes every three years. The energy code would be strengthened by using an internationally accepted energy code rather than creating a directive of achieving goals with insufficient details for the industry to understand the costs, aesthetics of the building structure, reliability of the electrical sources for daily living, sustainability of heat in winter conditions, and overall desirability of living conditions in the building.
(10) For these reasons, the legislature finds that strengthening the energy code must be an industry-driven approach, not a government-mandated approach."
Correct the title.
EFFECT: Strikes the underlying bill and inserts findings from the Legislature related to net-zero energy readiness and annual net energy consumption. Inserts a finding from the Legislature that strengthening the energy code must be an industry-driven approach and not mandated by the government.
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