November 24, 2009
Energy Inspections in Austin?
A proposal to require energy inspection for all new housing starts will be sent to the city council in Texas's weird state captial. The Austin Business Journal headlines it as Proposal ruffles builders:
A new ordinance requiring new housing starts to undergo energy inspections cleared its last hurdle Nov. 17 and will be sent to the City Council amid ardent opposition from the local home builders association.
The proposed law, which adopts the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code, will supplant an old rule that only required a sampling of similar new housing by the same builder to be tested. The new rule will instead mandate testing for every single- or two-family unit by outside contractors.
Not everyone is happy:
At the Nov. 17 hearing, Home Builders Association of Greater Austin Executive Vice President Harry Savio said the new codes will add 88 cents per square foot to the cost of new houses in Austin and further slow sluggish permitting offices that are understaffed.
The inspections would be for heating, ventilation, and cooling of all new residential units. Austin has contemplated a policy goal to have all new homes be zero-energy by 2015. Whether adding new requirements during a recession is a wise move remains to be seen.
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