The Washington State House of Representatives passed House Bill 1770  just after midnight Sunday morning.  It's listed as "strengthening energy codes" but in politics, one party's "strengthening" is often another party's bad idea.  Republicans say that measure could significantly increase the costs of housing and home heating.

House Bill 1770 would enact net-zero energy reduction regulations to the state energy code for new buildings. House Republican Leader J.T. Wilcox argued strongly against the measure, saying the new standards would add thousands of dollars to the cost of a new home, making it much harder for families to afford their first home.

What Is A Net-Zero Energy Home

According to a sustainable energy building website:

Traditional buildings consume 40% of the total fossil fuel energy in the US and European Union and are significant contributors to greenhouse gases. The zero net energy consumption principle is viewed as a means to reduce carbon emissions and reduce dependence on fossil fuels ...zero-energy buildings remain uncommon even in developed countries but are gaining importance and popularity...a net-zero building, is a building with the total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis is roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site, or nearby.

Washington Policy Center Nails It

An excellent explanation of the legislation can be found on the Washington Policy Center Website.  Their conclusion amounts to "a lot of extra cost for little to no gain."

Four of their findings:

The legislation requires new homes to be solar-ready even though the state is already on track to zero-emission electricity and rooftop solar is the most expensive form of renewable energy.

 

Although solar-ready construction would add costs to all new homes, the benefits would go primarily to families earning twice the median income.

 

The bill’s rules would take 100 years to reduce an equivalent amount of emissions as available alternatives.

The people who pound the nails for a living, construction workers in the building trades are opposed and upset with the process saying their voices weren't heard.

Electricity At Risk

The top Republican on the House Environment and Energy Committee,  Representative Mary Dye, says the bill also puts electric reliability at risk.

This is another job-killing bill that won't reduce carbon, but will restrict energy choices, and drives up costs for middle and lower-income families who can least afford it.

It would seem that when "Green" gets in their eyes, left-leaning legislator's ability to access common sense is compromised and that will cost the rest of stacks of another kind of "green".

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