OLYMPIA – The House Environment & Energy Committee passed HB 1084, the Healthy Homes and Clean Buildings Act, in executive session today. The bill, sponsored by State Rep. Alex Ramel (D-Bellingham), would make important progress to ensure Washington’s buildings are transitioned to clean energy by 2050. The Healthy Homes and Clean Buildings Act is part of a package of climate legislation requested by Gov. Jay Inslee to enact our state energy strategy and turn the tide on climate change. Sen. Marko Liias is the sponsor of the Senate companion bill, SB 5093.
If passed, the bill will ensure utilities align their long-term plans with the state’s climate goals, provide local jurisdictions with the authority to adopt a stronger local energy code, expand services for low income energy users to include conversion to clean energy, set high standards for wages and career development in the emerging clean energy workforce, and enable all utilities to provide customers with incentives for electric appliances.
“Healthy Homes and Clean Buildings is a comprehensive approach to decarbonizing our building sector to meet science-based climate goals. We’re committed to holding energy companies to high standards, making investments in electrification, and ensuring justice in the transition for energy users and for workers,” said Ramel.
Buildings represent 23% of Washington’s carbon footprint and are the state’s fastest growing source of greenhouse gas pollution. The bill is an important step to implement the 2021 Washington State Energy Strategy. The Strategy was the result of a year-long stakeholder process to evaluate how to meet our clean energy goals while ensuring reliable and affordable energy. Washington cannot meet its science-based carbon targets if it does not tackle carbon emissions from the building and housing sectors.
The bill passed out of committee with a vote of 8 to 5 and now heads to the House Appropriations Committee.
Learn more about the bill in the latest episode of Capitol Ideas, the House Democratic Caucus’ podcast.