A bill that has potential to create chaos in the energy code process was heard in a house committee for the second time on Tuesday. HF 772 (Rep. Kraft, St. Louis Park), originally was drafted to modify the adoption process for the energy code for new commercial buildings.
But, author amendments that have since been adopted have now expanded the scope of the bill to include the residential code. The amended language now reads:
“The commissioner shall consider amendments to the model energy codes that mitigate the impact of climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by increasing and optimizing energy efficiency and improving resiliency of new buildings and existing buildings undergoing additions, alterations, and changes of use.”
Nick Erickson, senior director of housing policy for Housing First Minnesota, testified in opposition to the bill stating, “Minnesota is the most energy-efficient high-production state in the nation and our homes in our GreenPath program are even more energy efficient. Five decades ago, this body founded the state building code on the principles of safety, durability, affordability.”
Erickson continued, “Unless the state legislature is taking action to increase affordability and access, which is needed by the way, the housing industry prefers we not legislate code changes or code activity. Instead, allow both the model code process and Minnesota code adoption to work through without legislative intervention.”
Despite many concerns raised by members of the committee, the bill was sent to the next committee for consideration, Ways & Means.