On Friday afternoon the House voted 79 to 58 (15 absent) in favor of the Majority Report recommendations on LD 2257 “An Act to Establish a Uniform Building and Energy Code.” The Senate will be voting this week, maybe even tomorrow (Tuesday) and this vote could be even closer! We need support for the Majority Report specifically—the Minority report has neither enforcement, nor any energy codes: it is not progress. Senators are under a lot of pressure to support the Minority Report as “good enough for now,” but this is not the case.
We need to pass the Majority Report because:
- A uniform building and energy code across the state will be good for the business community—uniformity and predictability will invite further investment, and it makes rehab of existing buildings much easier.
- You need enforcement of codes to provide benefits to Maine people—don’t be fooled by people who say having the codes is enough. We know the voluntary system is failing. (On energy, 85% of new homes are not meeting the minimum energy standard. That is costing us $millions/year in unnecessary heating costs.) The bill has a lot of flexibility and options for towns, including the use of 3rd party certified inspectors, which make the potential obligation on towns extremely minimal.
- These codes are not new or onerous. These are the same codes in 30-40 other states (although they will get amended slightly for Maine by the state code board.) They don’t significantly raise costs; in fact, they reduce costs for builders and occupants. This effort has taken a decade of work, literally—now is the time to make this change for the better.
We still need your help. Please call your Senator and ask him/her to support the Majority Report for LD 2257! State House Message Line at (800) 423-6900 or try (207) 287-1540.
If you do not know who your State Senator is, visit this page (http://www.maine.gov/legis/house/townlist.htm) and look up your town to find your Maine Senator.