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HB 287: Blocking Energy Efficiency — 2023

Summary: HB 287 would eliminate the legacy clause for locally-adopted building codes.

ICL's position: Oppose

Current Bill Status: Law

Issue Areas: Building Codes, Clean Air, Clean Energy, Clean Water

Official Legislative Site

House Bill 287, sponsored by Rep. Joe Palmer (R-Meridian), would remove the “legacy clause” that resulted from a carefully crafted deal in 2018 that pre-empted local adoption of Building Codes, while preserving the codes that had already been adopted in several cities and counties in Idaho.

In addition, the bill would go beyond just the Building Codes by preventing any “energy-related…ordinance, process, or regulation.” This could eliminate the ability to implement incentive programs, or to adopt energy saving practices in city-owned buildings.

Building codes are important because they ensure that homes are built to last and are affordable to operate. Consumers rely on building codes because once the home is built, it’s difficult to replace windows, insulation, heating ducts, or wiring.

In 2018, the state of Idaho adopted standardized building codes while restricting the ability of local communities to adopt stronger codes. Since then, the Building Contractors Association has consistently moved to block or impede updates to the statewide codes.

The move will eliminate local codes that have been on the books in Boise, Wood River Valley, Ammon, and other communities who agree that conserving energy and reducing wasteful practices is in all of our interest.

Idaho’s homes consume 21% of Idaho’s energy. By improving efficiency, we can conserve energy, protect air quality and save homeowners money.