Washington policy update from Kerry Meade:
NEEC was in Olympia this week testifying in support of the SB 5293, the Clean Buildings Bill. As you might recall, Governor Inslee announced this bill in early December at our offices in the Smart Buildings Center when he announced his 2019 Clean Energy package. Our built environment is an important part of the strategy for reducing carbon emissions in the state as much as it is a contributor to the problem, and we are thrilled to see the legislature take up this issue and recognize the important role buildings play in decarbonizing the state. The bill has many components, but of note to our membership, it will establish a commercial building performance standard for buildings of 50,000 square feet or larger and provide for a utility administered incentive program as building owners undertake efforts to bring their buildings into compliance with the standard. This week’s hearing was the first of what we expect will be several hearings on the pathway to passing this important legislation. While NEEC will be there every step of the way, I can’t underscore the value your voices have in communicating the business community’s support for this bill. I was proud to testify beside two NEEC member companies as they voiced their support, and I hope to testify beside many more of you in subsequent hearings. If you have any interest in testifying in a hearing, please send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if testifying in person isn’t possible, there are many ways to voice your support including submitting written testimony, signing onto a letter of support, and for those of you located in Washington state, writing to your representatives in the legislature.