In Washington, the Clean Buildings bill (HB 1257/SB 5293) was voted out of the House Finance Committee last Wednesday, and the House Appropriations Committee heard testimony the following Thursday morning. The Senate version of the bill was voted out of the Ways and Means Committee last Thursday and is now in the Rules Committee. NEEC is continuing to voice its strong support for this bill, especially the commercial building standard. It can be easy to underestimate the impact of shifting our mindset about buildings from places we go to, work in, and drive by to community assets that perform either adequately or inadequately depending on how you define your standards. The Clean Buildings bill takes an initial, important step toward changing how we think about the energy efficiency of our buildings by establishing an energy performance standard for commercial buildings over 50,000 square feet. This is the kind of smart, innovative policy that will help us transform our building stock into the dynamic, community assets the future demands. Now is the right time to reach out to your legislators to urge their support of this important legislation.
The legislature continues to consider SB 5116, the 100% Clean bill. The Senate voted to approve the bill, with a few amendments, last Friday morning. It now makes its way to the House where it’s scheduled for a hearing in the House Energy & Environment Committee. As reported a few weeks back, this bill defines distributed energy resource in a manner to include EE and conservation resources, and NEEC believes this is a great way to accelerate the role of buildings and consumer equipment as part of the grid of the future. As the grid relies more heavily on intermittent resources such as wind and solar, leveraging customer-sited solutions such as demand management, energy efficiency, and storage will be critical to grid reliability. We are excited about how this bill paves the way for more sophisticated and complex customer side solutions.