Time is Savings-Connecticut’s Building Code Conundrum

Last week, a damaging bill (HB 5749) for building energy efficiency was heard in Connecticut. The bill describes itself as attempting to “save resources” for the Nutmeg State and creates a “more consistent State Building Code,” when in fact it would accomplish neither! Here is NEEP’s written testimony against the bill.

HB 5749, if passed, would have Connecticut revise the State Building Code only every six years! NEEP strongly recommends that all states update their state building and energy codes at least every three years, corresponding with the International Code Council’s (ICC) update cycle. It’s the surest way to align a state building code with the latest developments in building technologies and practices, and achieve the energy and cost savings, not to mention life/safety requirements, the codes are designed for.

But don’t just take NEEP’s word for it; nine other organizations also submitted testimony against HB 5749. Here are some other valid arguments submitted for the February 7th public hearing:

National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA)“Proposed Bill 5749 will prevent this integral [code] update from taking place, allowing Connecticut to continue to fall behind the standard set by other states for building and life safety, and limit the use of safe and cost-effective construction standards or methods, new and emerging technology and building innovations, and cutting-edge building materials.”

Sierra Club“Building codes are revised periodically so that we can use our expanding knowledge of building practices to improve the performance, safety, energy needs, and cost of the built environment. We especially need to commit to raising the energy performance of both new and existing buildings as rapidly as possible. The bill would do just the opposite.”

Energy Efficient Codes Coalition“Extending Connecticut’s commercial and residential building code adoption process to six years could delay vital innovations that reduce the cost of home and commercial building ownership, hold down building insurance premiums, and even prevent property damage, injuries, and deaths.”

Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP)“The negative impact of HB 5749 will be considerable…Connecticut citizens deserve the consumer protection, safety, low energy costs and low insurance rates that come with regularly updated and well implemented building codes.”

No word yet on the outcome of the bill after last Thursday’s public hearing – but NEEP’s Buildings Team will keep you posted as we fine out more!

To learn more about best practices in state building energy code adoptions, as well as how to set up a comprehensive code adoption infrastructure, read NEEP’s Model Progressive Building Energy Codes Policy.


Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) is a non-profit organization that transforms the way we use and think about energy.  Building Energy Policy Associate Read more from this author


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