The following comes from an email from the Office of Utah Clean Energy, containing information to help change HB 316 from keeping weak energy codes in place.
Hello Supporters of Energy Efficiency in Utah,

As soon as today, (Monday, Feb. 22) or Tuesday (Feb. 23) the Utah House of Representatives could vote on House Bill 316. This is the 100+ page bill that updates most of Utah’s building construction codes in Utah to the latest 2015 codes. The bill even includes the latest 2015 energy conservation codes for commercial buildings!

Unfortunately, it leaves a huge amount of energy savings on the table because of amendments made to the residential energy code, and a proposed change in law to keep Utah’s weaker residential energy code in place until 2024! This is important since many families will live in new homes over each homes’ 50- to 100-year lifetime. It’s much cheaper and easier to build-in energy efficiency to a home during construction rather than having to spend thousands retrofitting inefficiencies after it is built.

Utah Clean Energy and other supportive organizations have suggested numerous amendments to the bill sponsor, Representative Brad Wilson, but haven’t received confirmation that any of our proposals are being seriously considered.


Please call or email your State Representative (don’t contact your Senator yet) and ask them to support needed amendments to HB 316. In your email, please:

  • Tell them that you are a constituent
  • Thank them for their service
  • Respectfully express your concern(s) about HB 316 and urge them to support amendments to make new homes more energy efficient and emit less air pollution
Find out who your representative is here: http://le.utah.gov/GIS/findDistrict.jsp
  1. Keep the residential building code cycle at 3 years. As written, HB 316 changes state law to delay review and adoption of model residential energy codes until 2024! Construction codes are currently reviewed every three years to keep up with changes in technology. Any delay in the review and adoption of residential codes will only make it more difficult for Utah’s energy code and contractors to catch up to the most modern construction practices in the future.
  2. Cost/benefit analysis for residential energy code changes. The state’s Uniform Building Code Commission’s advisory committees are staffed  by volunteer experts, and both the advisory committees and the Commission currently do not have the capacity to provide the kind of economic analysis that language in HB 316 requires (analyzing the cost and benefits of “each recommended change,” which could be hundreds of individual changes). We believe that HB 316 should be amended to include language that ensures that Commission and advisory committees have financial resources to make this analysis possible.
  3. Remove language restricting state agencies and political subdivisions from enacting new rules and policies impacting areas source emissions. Current language in the HB 316 restricts the state agencies, such as the Utah Division of Environmental Quality, from enacting new rules that impact pollution from buildings (which are a growing percentage of the total local air emissions). DEQ should be allowed to do their job under the Utah Air Conservation Act, the state law that gives DEQ authority to regulate air emissions. This restrictive language should be removed!
  4. 7% “above code” using Utah’s RESCheck software. The bill currently includes a provision that allows new homes to meet the updated energy code with no improvement to a home’s “building envelope” (the insulated part of the home: attic, walls, and floor). This is a problem because it’s practically impossible to retrofit wall and floor insulation after a home is built, and Utah Clean Energy supports language that requires the home to be 7% “above code” using the REScheck code compliance software.
  5. Reduce leakage of air ducts. HB 316 should reinstate duct tightness values as per the Uniform Building Code Commission’s recommendations to the Utah Legislature last October. This helps ensure that heated or cooled air gets to parts of the home where it’s needed instead of leaking into walls, crawl space or the attic.
Thank you for your support of making Utah a more energy-efficient state!
Kevin Emerson
Senior Policy and Regulatory Associate
Utah Clean Energy
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Thank you,

The Utah Clean Energy team