"Gas Industry Blocks Building Codes Meant To Make Going Electric Cheaper"

"The decision caps off the latest drama in the ongoing climate fight over building codes."

"The natural gas industry pulled off an 11th-hour victory in its campaign to strip climate-friendly rules out of the latest update to the homebuilding guidelines used in most of the United States.

Houses and commercial buildings constructed to this year’s standards were supposed to include the circuitry for hooking up electric appliances or car chargers, potentially adding a few thousand dollars to a new home’s asking price but saving homeowners tens of thousands in renovation costs to rewire existing walls and even more on utility bills.

As the International Code Council — the private nonprofit that convenes local governments, lobbyists and industry professionals together every three years to update the energy codes — finalized this year’s codebook last fall, trade associations representing gas utilities and furnace manufacturers filed formal appeals to strip out the pro-electrification measures.

The ICC’s appeals board rejected all the challenges earlier this month and urged the organization’s board of directors to do the same.

On Wednesday night, the ICC’s board of directors took the unusual step of going against its own experts to side with the fossil fuel companies, scrapping key codes meant to make electric cars, solar panels, induction stoves and heat pumps more affordable."

Alexander C. Kaufman reports for HuffPost March 20, 2024.

Source: HuffPost, 03/22/2024