During the recently held annual conference of The Council of State Governments (CSG), the organization voted on a bill that not only aligns with the goals of Architecture 2030 and The American Institute of Architects (AIA) for establishing carbon-neutral buildings by 2030, but also establishes a model for lawmakers developing legislation around this issue.
Proposed by CSG's Energy and Environment Task Force as "Energy Efficiency/Zero Fossil-Fuel Greenhouse Gas Emission Homes and Buildings," the bill is based on a piece of legislation enacted in the state of Washington in 2009, SB 5854. The bill requires the state to develop and implement a strategy for enhancing the energy efficiency and reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of homes, buildings, districts, and neighborhoods. Under the new law, the state is required to design an energy code that accelerates energy efficiency gains in new homes and buildings, with the ultimate goal of achieving structures that emit zero fossil-fuel greenhouse gasses by 2031.
Because the bill is significant both regionally and nationally, CSG's Suggested State Legislation (SSL) Committee voted to include it in the next volume of Suggested State Legislation, the committee's annual catalog of draft legislation, estimated for release between December 2010 and January 2011. State officials around the country use the publication as a reference, learning from the experiences of others who have addressed important issues with national resonance. In accordance with the SSL Committee's approval criteria, "Energy Efficiency/Zero Fossil-Fuel Greenhouse Gas Emission Homes and Buildings" provides a comprehensive model for addressing a complex issue that drafters of similar legislation could find helpful.