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BIAW Members Testify in Support of Energy Code Bill

January 31, 2020

The Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) and members from the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties, Olympia Master Builders, Master Builders Association of Pierce County, and North Peninsula Builder Association testified last Wednesday in favor of HB 2667, which seeks to delay the implementation of the 2018 Washington State Energy Code. Here is what BIAW and our members had to say about the bill:

“I am an original founding member of Built Green. When Governor Gregoire asked to look into how to make housing better, we took it seriously and did it without being mandated, but the State Building Code Council has way overstepped. We are asking for help and they don’t listen to us. I’m an in-the-dirt builder and I hate telling people you can’t afford something because of codes.”- North Peninsula Building Association member and 2018 BIAW President Kevin Russell

“I’m a local franchise builder for a hyper energy builder. I figured out the cost of construction—septic, impact fees, energy—the overall cost of doing business and unfortunately it doesn’t stop with the builder, it gets passed to the consumer. People making six-figure incomes won’t be impacted. It impacts low-income buyers. This will increase homes by at least $12,000 but won’t increase your energy cost savings. It will just increase upfront and financing costs.”-Olympia Master Builders and Master Builders Association of Pierce County Member Judson Willis

“The irony of it is the folks up saying the market will adjust. The market will adjust, that’s correct. It will make housing more expensive. We will build it and we will charge more for it. These costs impact both market-rate and subsidized housing. Our tax and market dollars will go far less in building units and that is an issue. In Washington state, 2100 people are priced out of the housing market with each $1000 increase and that’s not fair. You can’t make housing more affordable by making it more expensive.”- BIAW Government Affairs Director Jan Himebaugh

I have 30 years in the industry, I used to teach building science, I was a founding member of built green and energy star, I was president of built green for 5 years. I am clearly a strong advocate for energy efficiency, but the codes as they are written are not going to work. I work with high-performance clients who build 500 plus homes a year and they will do things to keep up with the codes but it will make the houses less efficient to chase points. Please pass this measure.”- Olympia Master Builders member Daimon Doyle

HB 2667 is a bi-partisan supported bill that would not only delay implementation but increase housing access and affordability by decreasing construction costs associated with implementing the Washington state energy code for residential buildings.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Mike Chapman (D-Port Angeles) did not move in the committee hearing and was met with opposition from Governor Inslee’s office. We will update you on any change with this bill.

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