Hello Civic Action Team!

It’s summer and even though the next legislative session doesn’t begin until January 2021, there’s still CAT work to do.

Clean Building HB 1257

This bill was passed in WA state back in 2019, a policy that would increase energy efficiency in commercial buildings and reduce GHG emissions in the State.

It was a strong bill requiring commercial buildings to meet energy use targets by 2026. Unfortunately the devil is in the details. After the bills are passed, the rule-making process begins. For HB 1257, the State Department of Commerce is just now developing the rules, including the targets for energy use reduction. They are proposing that buildings will have to use 15% less than the current average energy use (in these buildings). However, their own experts say these buildings can achieve 25-35% reductions and other experts put it as high as 50% reduction in energy use.

Please email the following to buildings@commerce.wa.gov.

Remember that personalizing the email makes it more impactful.

Email Script:

Subject line: Reducing energy use of buildings is urgent & essential

To: Chuck Murray, Sr. Energy Policy Specialist and Emily Salzberg, Building Unit Managing Director,

I am extremely disappointed to learn that the rules for implementing the bill are not stringent enough to be truly meaningful.  The purpose of the legislation is to maximize “reductions of greenhouse gas emissions from the building sector.” It is my understanding that the consultants who were hired to help draft the new standard indicated that the buildings could achieve a 25-35% reduction in energy use; other experts suggest that a 50% reduction in energy use is feasible.  I was disappointed to learn that the Department of Commerce is considering only a 15% reduction in energy use.

As we face the inconceivably consequential deadlines of the climate crisis, we need our buildings to be as resilient and energy efficient as possible.  Please write stronger rules for this legislation—targeting a minimum 35% reduction in energy use, with a goal of 50%.

Thank you so much,

— Katherine, David, and Selden for the 350 WA Civic Action Team.

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