Commercial Building Owners Will Face New ‘Green’ Requirements
Part of Gov. Inslee's 2019 'climate' package included a new Green Building Standard, it was passed due to Democratic support in Olympia.
Thursday, the Department of Commerce will announce exactly what these new standards are. They will apply to commercial buildings 50K square feet or larger. In layman's terms, building owners-businesses will have to pay to retrofit or upgrade their structures to meet these new 'green' standards. It will apply to virtually every type of commercial structure bigger than 50K square feet, and likely cost owners thousands of dollars or more. The bill claims it will offer incentives, but as we have seen with previous 'green' legislation, it ends up costing the business.
From the actual Inslee bill itself:
"The legislature therefore determines that it is in the state's interest to maximize the full potential of energy efficiency standards, retrofit incentives, utility programs, and building codes to keep energy costs low and to meet statutory goals for increased building efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions."
The bill also sneaks in attempts to further regulate and limit the use of natural gas as a heating or power source. From the actual bill:
"Establishes efficiency performance requirements for natural gas distribution companies, recognizing the significant contribution of natural gas to the state's greenhouse gas emissions, the role that natural gas plays in heating buildings and powering equipment within buildings across the state, and the greenhouse gas reduction benefits associated with substituting renewable natural gas for fossil fuels."
In short, it's an attempt to limit use of natural gas, despite what the language says. The ultimate attempt of the bill is to force owners to modify their buildings to meet Inslee's climate standards. And it will have a penalty phase as well:
"The department is authorized to impose an administrative penalty upon a building owner for failing to submit documentation demonstrating compliance with the requirements of this section."
The Dept. of Commerce will unveil the regulations Thursday in Olympia.