Ask Committee Members to VOTE AGAINST a Dramatically Watered Down Version of the Residential Energy Code

On Tuesday February 9th, Representative Brad Wilson released his House Bill 316, Building Code Review and Adoption Amendments, which makes changes to Utah’s fire code, building codes, and energy code.  Utah Clean Energy opposes HB 316 as written because it proposes only negligible improvements for energy savings to our already alarmingly outdated residential energy code. HB 316 is out of touch with the opinion of Utahns who overwhelmingly want new homes to be energy-efficient and low-emission.


HB 316 will be voted on in the House Business and Labor Committee today at 3:40 pm!

If you can, please attend the committee meeting.  In addition, we encourage you to email members of the House Business and Labor Committee ASAP asking them to vote against HB 316. Click here for list of committee members and their emails.

Committee Meeting
DATE: Thursday, February 11, 2016 at 3:40 PM

PLACE: Room 445, State Capitol

HB 316 Misses Significant Energy Efficiency and Air Quality Improvements

  • This bill would result in dramatically lower energy savings than the complete 2015 International Energy Conservation Code, which is estimated to cut energy consumption by 24% for the average Utah home and save new home buyers nearly $300 per year!
  • HB 316 also ignores the residential energy code recommendations made by Utah’s Uniform Building Code Commission (UBCC), the body of experts tasked with examining the model code and selecting elements that work for Utah. Specifically, as compared to the Commission recommendation, HB 316 proposes:
  • Negligible (3%) improvements in home envelope efficiency, which allows poorly insulted exterior walls to continue to be built in new homes. This amounts to very little reduction in natural gas combustion and in turn, a negligible reduction in air pollution emissions. This element is important because it is extremely difficult and costly for homeowners to upgrade inefficient walls after they are built. (The UBCC recommended an improvement of 10%.)
  • Negligible improvement in air leakage from air ducts. This element also amounts to very little reduction in natural gas combustion and emissions from the home. It is very difficult for homeowners to upgrade air duct tightness after the home is built. (The UBCC recommended tighter, less leaky air ducts.)
  • A prohibition from considering a new version of the published codes again until 2021, and then every 6 years thereafter. (The UBCC didn’t recommend this.)
  • HB 316 also includes concerning language that restricts state agencies, such as the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, and political subdivisions (local governments) from adopting new rules or ordinances designed to reduce air pollution from homes and buildings.
  • This is particularly concerning because homes and buildings currently contribute 39% of the air pollution along the Wasatch Front, and are projected to contribute 60% by 2050.

In short, HB 316 allows new homes to continue to be built without proven and affordable strategies to improve energy efficiency and lower air pollution, which 91% of Utahns want. This bill amounts to a missed opportunity to improve the quality of new homes and better local air quality at little cost to the general public. Utah families deserve better!

members2House Labor and Business Committee Members

Representative Susan Duckworth sduckworth@le.utah.gov
Representative James Dunnigan jdunnigan@le.utah.gov
Gage Froerer
Dixon Pitcher
Curt Webb
Brad Wilson
Representative Jacob Anderegg janderegg@le.utah.gov
John Knotwell
Marc Roberts
Jon Stanard
Brad King
Mike Schultz
Derrin Owens
Val Peterson

Thank you,
The Utah Clean Energy team