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Thank you and next steps in supporting energy choice

October 17, 2022

BIAW thanks the nearly 20 builders, more than 400 petition signers and everyone else who weighed in supporting energy choice in this latest round of energy code proposals.

As the Washington State Building Code Council considers passing the country’s most stringent and most expensive package of building codes, builders urge them to consider the high costs associated with these codes and their effect on homeownership in our state. Read BIAW’s Building Code briefing for more information.

Thanks for supporting energy choice

Thank you to the following builders and staff for testifying in favor of allowing homeowners to continue to choose high-efficiency hot water heaters and furnaces over more costly heat pumps.

  1.  Forest Wilson – Top Solid Surface
  2.  Kai Fyrst – First Finishers
  3.  Kurt Wilson – SoundBuilt Homes
  4.  Bob Disney – Disney and Associates
  5.  Judson Willis – Lexar Homes
  6.  Mike Nykreim – Newport West
  7.  Dennis Davis – College Place Heating and Air Conditioning
  8.  Steve Tapio – New Tradition Homes
  9.  Tim Lovelass – Tim Lovelass Construction
  10.  Larry Andrews – Andrews Mechanical
  11.  Dalton Smith – Conner Homes
  12.  John Frankel – NW Natural
  13.  Ty Jennings – Cascade Natural Gas
  14.  Mike Pattison – MBAKS
  15.  Jessie Simmons – OMB
  16.  Noelle Lovern – BIACC
  17.  Andi Hochleutner – CWHBA
  18.  Jennifer Thomas – SHBA

Many more also signed our petition and submitted their own written testimony.

What’s at stake?

Altogether, this entire code package will increase the up-front cost of a new home by a minimum of $24,070.*

Over the lifetime of a mortgage, the homeowner can expect to pay $72,210 for these unfunded mandates.

Homeownership in crisis

  • Only 15% of Washington families can afford to purchase a home in current market conditions.
  • 49% of Washington families are housing-cost burdened, meaning they pay for than 30% of their income on housing their families.
  • For every $1,000 added to the price of a home, another 4,068 families are priced out of home ownership.

At a time when Washington is already pricing 85% of families out of owning a new home, we simply cannot afford to pass these building codes.

The proposals:

  • Eliminate the ability for home builders to install natural gas cost-effectively in new homes, eliminating energy choice in the state and pushing cooking with natural gas into extinction for new homes after July 1, 2023.
  • Require heat pumps as the preferred source for space and water heating in all new homes, increasing the up-front cost of a new home by $8,350. Worse yet, the actual cost to the homeowner over their 30-year mortgage will surpass $25,000.
  • Require existing homes to upgrade their current HVAC systems to heat pumps if they increase the size of their original HVAC equipment. Estimates show that it could cost homeowners a minimum of $23,000.
  • Add another $9,200 to the price of every new home for compliant windows and air leakage requirements.
  • Require all new homes with carports and garages have electric vehicle charging capabilities, regardless of the cost of upgrading electrical infrastructure, and without a direct mandate from the Washington State Legislature.
  • Ban heat pump water heaters from being placed in your garage. Instead, large utility closets would have to be installed, taking up usable square footage of new homes.
  • Cause building material costs to skyrocket due to the fire-resistive material required in the Wildland Urban Interface Code. Arbitrary limits on where homes can be built and how much vegetation can surround them would become regulation, even though this surpasses the rulemaking authority of the State Building Code Council.

What happens next?

According to the SBCC website, the council will discuss and evaluate public comments at an Oct. 21 work session. They will then vote on code proposals Nov. 4 and possibly on Nov. 18 (as needed). Any adopted changes will go into effect July 1, 2023.

If you’d like more information or to get more involved, please contact

*Based on cost member estimates**utilizing Option 1 of the R406 Tables. If Option 2 is adopted by the SBCC, up-front costs surpass $33,000.

**BIAW’s member survey and industry bids are not being released per anti-trust laws. For more information, please view for more information

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