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There's More Than One Way for Energy Efficiency Goals to Fail

A heated political battle over funding for the Washington State Building Code Council shows how legislated mandates for energy efficiency must also fund regulators to back them up.
January 26, 2016, 8am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Robert McClure and Bernard Ellouk report on an ongoing political battle over the future of the Washington State Building Code Council—an agency that will be vital to achieving the state's goals to improve energy efficiency in its building stock.

According to the article, "the agency has halved its staff since the late 1990s and now says it will have to cut again this summer unless the Legislature changes something." The staff cuts are the result of a lack of revenue. "The agency is funded by a construction fee of $4.50 per building that hasn’t increased for decades."

"Rep. Tana Senn, D-Mercer Island recently filed legislation (HB 2841) that would provide a temporary funding increase for the agency," report McClure and Ellouk, but the bill is doomed to failure, like others that have gone before it, without a compromise that brings along the Building Industry Association of Washington and Republicans in the State Legislature. Rep. Senn's bill includes a provision that would bring the Council under the control of the Department of Enterprise Services—a move that also happens to be "one of the building lobby’s two major legislative priorities for the year," according to McClure and Ellouk.

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Published on Monday, January 25, 2016 in Crosscut
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