HB 201, the measure that would roll back the 2012 NC Energy Code to the 2009 version, has been lurking around the Legislature since last year. A coalition of design, construction and  clean energy business interests have been successful in slowing its progress but it appears to have new life and was amended on Thursday in the Senate Rules Committee to offer existing buildings, and building additions an option to use the 2009 Energy Code. The bill was also expanded to include controversial language on redefining impervious surfaces as it relates to built upon area. The bill has been set for a Senate floor vote on Monday, July 21.

North Carolina has developed a tremendous industry around energy efficiency and clean energy generation in the last 6 years. A recent non-partisan report concluded that the clean & efficient energy sector has contributed $1.4 billion in project investment in the state, created or retained 21,163 jobs and will save consumers $173 million in cost by 2026. In addition, Duke Energy sees no need for nuclear plant expansion in its current 15-year planning cycle due to lower than expected demand.

The only way these gains have been accomplished is through the delicate balance of the renewable energy portfolio standards, the creation and extension of energy tax credits and a building code that recognizes the importance of raising energy efficiency standards for construction. All three of these issues create the stool on which our economic success is balanced. HB 201 cuts one of these important legs of the stool from our jobs and economic gains of the last six years and hampers our future success.

Contact your senator this weekend or on Monday if you're concerned about losing the economic and energy efficiency gains we've seen in the last 6 years. Legislator contact info can be found at www.ncleg.net.

AuthorDavid Crawford