2021 Priority Legislation: Environment

HB 2227

Patron: Kaye Kory

Uniform Statewide Building Code; energy efficiency and conservation.

House Senate Governor
02/05/21 House: Read third time and passed House (55-Y 45-N)
02/25/21 Senate: Passed
Bill status updated 2/26/21

Info/Talking Points (Mix and match in your emails!)

Write members of the Senate.

This bill has Passed Senate Finance and Appropriations. Please encourage YOUR State Senator to vote YES!

The energy efficiency standards for residential construction in the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code lag many years behind nationally recognized standards, and Virginia residents deserve better.

  • Energy efficiency improvements in home construction will reduce energy costs for residents (both homeowners and tenants) for decades. Saving energy would particularly help communities of color and low-income homeowners and renters who experience disproportionately high utility bills due to poor energy efficiency.

  • Better energy conservation measures will also reduce air pollution and increase health, comfort and other benefits for residents.

  • More efficient buildings will reduce GHG emissions and improve public safety by mitigating the impacts of climate change, such as heat illness and harms from extreme weather events.

  • Energy costs and other harms can be substantially reduced by implementing the most recent International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), which is Virginia's source of national energy conservation guidance. Unfortunately, Virginia is still behind the 2012 IECC in critical ways because the BHCD defers to objections voiced in informal "work groups" rather than seriously considering benefits to residents from greater energy efficiency.

  • Legislation is needed to ensure that the BHCD seriously considers benefits to residents from proposed efficiency measures compared to the incremental construction costs when considering changes to Virginia's building code.

  • HB2227 would not dictate building code provisions, but it would require careful consideration of benefits to residents and incremental construction costs from building efficiency measures. This would help "to protect the health, safety and welfare of residents of the Commonwealth," as existing law intends.

  • According to Consumers Union, over 80% of Americans believe that "homeowners should have a right to a home that meets national energy standards." Virginians should not get less.
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