On Wednesday, February 8, 2012, Pam Barrow, NWFPA Energy Director, presented testimony in support of HB 2517 and HB 2518 before the Washington State House Committee on Local Government. These bills seek to exempt cold storage warehouses and industrial processing equipment and systems from regulation for energy efficiency by the Washington State Building Codes Council. The Council had included very specific criteria for evaporators, condensers and electric motors and their operation in Section 1460 of the Washington State Energy Code, which was recently repealed because the rules were not originally supported by sufficient analysis.
NWFPA strongly supports exemption of cold storage facilities and industrial processing equipment and systems from Council regulation and our testimony, outlines several reasons we oppose such regulation. Although the two bills were technically “dead” by February 8, the House Committee held the hearing to elicit input upon which similar bills could be prepared for introduction in the 2013 legislative session.
The fundamental issues are not “dead” however, because the Washington State Building Codes Council will begin its triennial update to the Washington State Energy Code in March and will enter rulemaking on amendments to the 2009 Code. Council Technical Advisory Groups are meeting to identify and develop amendments. It is likely that analysis of the cold storage warehouses specifications will be conducted and new regulations proposed. Proposed amendments must be received by March 1 to be considered. NWFPA will be participating in the Council’s process and will submit amendments limiting the Council’s authority to regulate solely to the building envelope and its related systems.
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