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On Tuesday, March 13, BATC-Housing First Minnesota sent a letter to the Department of Labor & Industry’s Energy Code TAG Chair asking that the Department reaffirm the existing residential energy code for Minnesota instead of adopting the more costly 2018 International Energy Conversation Code.
In the letter from Executive Director David Siegel, Housing First Minnesota points out that Minnesota’s new homes are performing remarkably well and that in our current Parade of Homes event, more than 60 percent of homes were third-party tested for energy efficiency with an average HERS Index of 51.3, 50 percent better than code. The average existing home is estimated to have a HERS Index of 130, 80 percent less efficient than the new homes built in Minnesota today by our members.
Given the laudable gains in energy efficiency, along with the strong performance of newly built homes, housing affordability becomes a key consideration:
BATC-Housing First Minnesota was granted appointees to four TAGs:
Housing First Minnesota’s staff and TAG appointees have worked to keep affordability front-of-mind during the code update process. In addition to BATC-Housing First Minnesota’s four appointees, Regulatory Affairs Manager Nick Erickson and Political Engagement Manager Mark Foster have attended TAG meetings on behalf of the housing industry.
Once the TAGs complete their work, changes to the various codes will be passed along to the Minnesota Construction Code Advisory Council, which will prepare recommendations for the Commissioner of Labor & industry. Minnesota’s new building codes, after working though the state’s rulemaking process, will go into effect March 2020.
The Department of Labor & Industry is looking to wrap up TAG meetings in the next two weeks.