Last week, Housing First Minnesota participated in a hearing to determine whether Minnesota should adopt a new residential energy code. Our staff, along with a coalition of industry partners, argued that the energy performance in newly built homes is among the best in the nation, and that further costs in requirements from the proposed energy code will result in further affordability challenges for homeownership in our state.
The code adoption process has now entered the period for public comment. Housing First Minnesota is encouraging our members to have their voices heard. Our state’s housing affordability is already in a state of crisis. We need to be lowering costs in order to make the dream of homeownership available to all who desire it.
Comments are due on August 24 at 4:30pm. Click here to submit comments.
Opening rulemaking on the Minnesota Residential Building Code, Chapter 1322 of the State Building Code, is unnecessary and should not happen.
Listen to The Experts: Builders and Code Officials have both testified against opening rulemaking. Both groups, along with the new home buyers are those impacted most by this decision.
Efficiency and Cost Leader: No other state builds homes as efficient as Minnesota. Continuing with Chapter 1322 as-is will not put Minnesota behind as other may suggest, but will instead allow neighboring states to catch up to Minnesota. Being a leader in efficiency comes at a price, paid for by new-home buyers. Minnesota’s energy code costs more than neighboring states and is a contributing factor to the high cost of housing in this state relative to its neighbors.
New Vs. Existing Efficiency: The greatest area of improvement in energy efficiency comes from focusing on existing homes, not new homes. According to Minnesota’s Green Path, annually, HERS (Home Energy Rating System) rated homes in Minnesota save 18,950 tons of CO2 compared to the average pre-existing home. This is the equivalent of 3,714 passenger vehicles taken off the road for one year.
Timing: Minnesota operates on a six-year code adoption cycle. Opening rulemaking on Chapter 1322 will be a long process, lasting one to two years before any new code is implemented. By the time the new Chapter 1322 goes into effect, Minnesota will be halfway through the code cycle.
Buyer Choice: Buyers can choose to build a home that is beyond code