One NEEC legislative priority in Oregon has failed to move forward. HB 3535 originally had 3 components – energy efficiency prioritization standard, property tax exemption for high performance buildings, and energy performance disclosure requirements to residential and commercial buildings. The bill lost the first two items last week in hopes that a single focus on performance disclosure could must sufficient bi-partisan support to stay in the game. Not to be. Given the 30 – 30 split in the Oregon House, current legislative rules dictate the need for announced support by at least two members of each party to keep a bill in the game. HB 3535, despite strong efforts by the NEEC governmental affairs team and a strong coalition of stakeholders, couldn’t gain that support in time.
Seems odd of course, that everyone routinely can tell you the MPG of their automobile and all new autos display a very visible notice of their rated efficiency. But buyers, lenders, and lessees remain clueless when making purchasing or spending decisions on buildings – often with far greater economic consequence than the purchase of a car.
The silver lining in this setback is that a number of municipalities in Oregon have expressed interest to NEEC on the possibility of enacting energy performance disclosure requirements at the local level. NEEC is happy to work with local elected officials who show interest in establishing ordinances that create a system for the reporting of energy performance of buildings in their jurisdiction.