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Council Members to Begin Discussions on Energy Code

November 30, 2019, 5:30 PM HST
* Updated November 30, 4:43 PM
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For the first time, the Department of Public Works sought input from industry professionals in a code adoption process regarding Hawaii County’s energy code.

The DPW proposed bill is ordinance that would amend and adopt the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), which would cater to the county’s unique environment. It is expected to be listed on its first council committee agenda this month or in January 2020.

The 2015 IECC became effective in order to meet the State’s energy reduction earlier this year. In October, more than 60 members of the building, architectural and real estate sectors participated in two topic-focused workshops in Kona and Hilo put on by DPW.

DPW received 203 comments and proposed amendments to the State’s adoption of the Energy Code as a result of the workshops and the ensuing comment period. This was the first time DPW opened the adoption process up to public comment.

“I applaud the Public Works Building Division for taking that leap and seeking input from industry professionals as part of the code adoption process,” said District 3 Councilwoman Sue Lee Loy, chair of the Council’s Committee on Public Works and Mass Transit. “This bill is one step in the County’s comprehensive long-term effort to update the County’s building, plumbing, and electrical codes, and I thank the public for their patience as my office and Public Works staff work through the proposed amendments.”

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DPW Acting Building Division Chief Robyn Matsumoto said the department was thrilled to receive the volume of feedback.

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“It’s taken a lot of work to review each and every proposed amendment and by working closely with Councilwoman Lee Loy we anticipate submitting a solid bill for Council’s consideration next month,” Matsumoto said.

The overall intent of these proposed amendments is to lower the cost of building on Hawai‘i Island by taking into consideration our tropical climate and residents’ median income relative to the rest of the state while striving to meet the state’s energy goals.

After the proposed amendments are submitted to the Committee on Public Works and Mass Transit, they will undergo two readings at County Council meetings before the Council votes to formally adopt the amendments.

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