As members no doubt have heard, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown recently signed Executive Orders that may impose green energy mandates on new construction. The orders were signed in advance of the Governor’s trip to Europe on climate change.
Under the first order, new homes built after September 2020 must be equipped for solar panel installation and commercial buildings must meet the same mandate by October 2022. By October 2022, parking structures for new homes and commercial buildings must be wired for at least one electric vehicle charger. Finally, by October 2023, Brown has directed the Building Codes Division to require all new homes to be “zero-energy ready.”
In consulting with OHBA, many of the items, especially the solar ready and the electric car parts, were already in other versions of codes/processes changing, so they aren’t new, and the language appears to be relatively vague, although more information and outreach is required.
Moreover, Executive Orders have no immediate effect and cannot be used as a substitute for existing law or processes. In this case, regardless of what the EO might say, any possible code changes need to go through the current analysis and adoption process at the Building Codes Division; we have a strong presence at BCD through the participation of OHBA members and staff, and we will have numerous opportunities to make sure that code changes, if any, are market realistic and sensible.
We will keep members posted as more or new information becomes available on the potential policy.