Written on: May 30, 2023
From the National Propane Gas Association Bobtail
The Washington State Building Code Council voted yesterday to delay the statewide mandate for electric heat pumps in new buildings, due in large part to litigation filed by an opposition coalition, of which NPGA is a part. This heat pump mandate was scheduled to go into effect this summer. The litigation was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington on Monday. This vote was also taken up due to the recent decision from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which overturned the City of Berkeley’s ordinance banning gas connections in new buildings.
The Council voted 8-2 yesterday to postpone the statewide mandate after NPGA and a coalition of three gas utilities, several homebuilder and labor associations, and an individual homeowner filed suit seeking a permanent injunction against enforcement of the codes’ restrictions against gas in new buildings. A spokesperson for the Building Code Council stated that they are delaying the implementation of the new statewide mandate due to concern over “legal risk,” however the Council will be revisiting building codes in the meantime to “ensure the new codes’ resiliency.”
Jackson Maynard, General Counsel for the Building Industry Association of Washington, stated that “All we are asking for is that the court apply the same law in Washington state as the 9th Circuit did in California.” The propane industry understands that gas bans and electrification mandates, such as this one from the Washington State Building Code Council, not only interfere with consumer energy choice, but will also increase the overall energy cost in the state. NPGA will continue to oppose these efforts wherever they may arise.