Energy code provisions in House Energy Bill enhance product neutrality

Sep 30, 2015

WASHINGTON – American Wood Council (AWC) Vice President, Government Affairs Sarah Dodge has issued the following statement regarding today’s House Energy & Commerce Committee mark up of the “North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2015” (H.R. 8). Language from a stand-alone bill introduced by Reps. Marsha Blackburn (TN) and Kurt Schrader (OR) was included, advocating product neutrality in building energy codes and redefining the role of the Department of Energy (DOE) as a technical advisor in the development of model energy codes and subsequent state adoption.

“The Blackburn-Schrader language in the energy package is a step toward ensuring product neutrality so that all building materials have equal opportunity to contribute to meeting building energy efficiency standards. AWC has simply asked that DOE not engage in picking product winners and losers in the code adoption process. DOE should help states implement whichever requirements the state decides works best locally, given climate and other state-specific conditions.

“The wood products industry supports economically and technically feasible building energy regulations. Wood buildings sequester carbon from the atmosphere, have a lower embodied energy and can be constructed to use operating energy rivaling that of the best performing buildings. A green building that begins with lower embodied energy and requires less operating energy will ultimately save on energy bills and increase property values.

“AWC thanks Chairman Upton and Representatives Blackburn and Schrader for their work to ensure product and technology neutrality in the energy code development and adoption process.”