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4/14/2022 UPDATE – The bill passed out of the cmte and will head to the House Appropriations

Denver – Today, the House Energy and Environment Committee will consider a bill, HB22-1362, that will update energy codes related to building electrification and energy efficiency. This bills aims to improve indoor air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the building sector, and save consumers money through increased energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. 

CoPIRG advocate Alex Simon submitted the following statement to the committee:

” Following a record number of ozone alert days on the Front Range this past summer, we are all aware of the toll that Colorado’s increasing air pollution is taking on our health and community. Higher levels of GHG pollution contribute to global warming, which increases ozone pollution. Exposure to ozone pollution can inflame and damage the airways, aggravate asthma and other respiratory conditions, and make the lungs more susceptible to infection.  This leads to increased school and work absences, medication use, and visits to the doctor or emergency room. 

Fuel used in residential, commercial, and industrial spaces is one of the largest sources of GHG pollution in Colorado. Nationally, GHG emissions from commercial and residential buildings account for 13% of total GHG emissions. 

Requiring local communities with energy codes to adopt stricter energy codes will update and modernize building practices in ways that benefit consumers and our health. Changes like high efficiency electric heating equipment like heat pumps and electric appliances, solar technologies, and incorporating electric vehicle charging capacity in parking areas are important ways to reduce overall energy use, saving consumers money, and improve both indoor and outdoor air quality. 

These steps are critical in reducing the GHG footprint of our buildings. If we electrify almost all our homes and businesses in the next 30 years, we could reduce GHG emissions by about 306 million metric tons of carbon dioxide by 2050 – the equivalent of taking about 65 million of today’s cars off the road. 

This bill sets a new standard for building electrification by addressing key areas like electric, solar, low energy, carbon, and green building codes. It provides funding for training to help builders and owners better understand the new codes, a grant program to electrify public buildings, and an electric heating and appliances grant program. Together, these pieces provide a framework for Colorado to modernize our construction practices, reduce our GHG emissions, improve our air quality, save people money in the long-run, and build for the 21st century. Please vote yes on HB22-1362.”