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HB 660: Locking in 2018 Building Codes – 2022

Summary: House Bill 660 would lock in Idaho's energy efficiency building codes at the 2018 level, and make updating these codes more difficult.

ICL's position: Oppose

Current Bill Status: To Governor

Issue Areas: Building Codes, Clean Air, Climate Change

Official Legislative Site

Introduced by House Business Committee Chairman Rep. Sage Dixon (R-Ponderay), House Bill 660 would separate Idaho’s energy efficiency rules from the other rules of building safety and place them into statute. This will make it harder to update these rules, which undergo regular revision by the Idaho Building Code Board to incorporate best practices and new technologies that benefit consumers and our environment alike.

The bill will also prevent cities or counties from adopting updates and revisions that meet local needs.

The House Business Committee has long sought to reject the energy efficiency code rules, but the Senate has refused to go along. Because of the way Idaho’s Administrative Rules work, that means that they went into effect despite the objections from the House. If Rep. Dixon is successful with his proposal to put codes into statute, both chambers and the Governor will have to agree on any updates, thereby circumventing the standard rules process and giving the House veto power over the rules.

Idaho Energy Conservation Codes matter because homebuyers and renters want comfortable, healthy homes with affordable power bills. The codes provide standards that keep energy costs low and ensure our homes are safe. While building homes to standards may cost a few more dollars up front, these regulations save Idaho homeowners money everyday, paying off the initial investment in a matter of months. Ensuring these codes are regularly updated can save homeowners even more.