Last chance to weigh in on energy choice for Washington homebuyers
October 7, 2022
Don’t miss your last chance to weigh in on energy choice! The Washington State Building Code Council is on the verge of passing the country’s most stringent and most expensive package of building codes.
Join us in urging them to consider the high costs associated with these codes and their effect on homeownership in our state.
Read the entire Building Code briefing.
Weigh in on energy choice
Attend the public hearing and testify in person or via Zoom
- When: Oct. 14, 10 am – 5 pm
- Where: Room 1213, 1500 Jefferson St SE; Olympia, WA 98504
- Webex/Remote URL: https://des-wa.zoom.us/j/92286252397
You must submit a sign-up form to testify before the hearing date. The sooner you sign up, the earlier you can testify.
Submit written comments
You must submit written testimony by 5 pm on Oct. 14, 2022. We’ve provided a template letter for you to personalize.
- Online contact form
- Comment by email to SBCC@des.wa.gov
Sign the petition
Sign and share our petition to support energy choice and stop unfunded mandates that drive up the cost of new homes.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
Please urge the SBCC to protect energy choice and remove proposals 032, 058, 059, 060, 062, 063, 065, 066, 079, 080, 089, and 091 from the final Group 2 building code package.
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 email@example.com
*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 https://www.ftc.gov/advice-guidance/competition-guidance/guide-antitrust-laws/dealings-competitors/price-fixing for more information