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Moving the Needle on Commercial Energy Efficiency Standards

On April 23rd, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed two key bills into law.

  • HB1281 raises the Magnolia State’s energy efficiency bar much higher than its previous optional 1975-published standard by adopting the 2010 iteration of ASHRAE Standard 90.1, “Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings,” as its commercial energy code. This development makes Mississippi the first Southeastern state – and only the third in the U.S. – to adopt that standard for commercial buildings.
  • Furthermore, HB1266 makes Standard 90.1-2010 the statewide energy standard for public facilities.

Several ASHRAE members worked very hard to encourage the state and its lawmakers to make dramatic enhancements to its building energy standards, so hats off!

Furthermore, in recent weeks, West Virginia officially adopted Standard 90.1-2007. Once it takes effect July 1, 2013, it will be the only commercial building energy standard in the Mountaineer State. To familiarize design professionals, code officials, and construction consumers with Standard 90.1 before its imminent implementation of Standard 90.1, ASHRAE’s Mountaineer Section; AIA West Virginia; AEE’s West Virginia contingent; and the state’s Energy Office offered two eight-hour workshops May 1st and May 3rd. More on these workshops will be reported in upcoming editions of Government Affairs Update.

A job well done, Mountaineer Section, in working with other stakeholders and state officials in getting this important policy work done. It is just another instance demonstrating why the efforts of Grassroots Government Activities volunteers Society-wide will be so important in the years to come.

Clarification

In the April 19 edition of Government Affairs Update, the issue of building and/or energy code/standard cycle delay proposals was discussed. An important point not noted in that article was that, per ASHRAE policy, neither the Society nor its chapters or sections may endorse the adoption of any specific model code or standard. However, if a chapter or section wishes to comment in a general way about adoption of or compliance with up-to-date energy codes and code-intended standards, like ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2010, that would fall within the parameters of official Society policy.

For further information on any of these items, please contact Mark Wills, ASHRAE's Manager of State and Local Government Affairs, at [email protected].

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