Will Bellingham ban natural gas in July?

Will Bellingham ban natural gas in July?

After an April 9th Circuit Court decision invalidated a natural gas ban in Berkeley, California, the Washington State Building Code Council (SBCC) voted to delay the first statewide mandate prohibiting natural gas heat pumps in new buildings for 120 days, according to E&E news. The Court ruled that the Energy Policy & Conservation Act of 1975, which is the federal law that mandates minimum efficiency requirements, was passed to limit the overregulation of energy policy by state and local governments.

A diverse coalition of plaintiffs, including Citizen Action Defense Fund, has filed a federal lawsuit with the objective of suspending provisions of Washington’s recently implemented natural gas ban in new construction, according to the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW). The BIAW also sent letters to the Cities of Bellingham, Seattle, and Shoreline informing the cities of the 9th Circuit Court’s decisions and requesting they pause their natural gas bans.  In February, the City of Bellingham passed an ordinance prohibiting the use of natural gas to heat new commercial buildings and certain residential structures that is set to go into effect on July 1st.

Energy codes passed by the Washington legislature add a minimum of $9,200 to the already high cost of building a home, according to a release from the BIAW.

Stay tuned for further updates.

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