The Colorado Energy Office (CEO) has released the names of the final members of the state’s new Energy Code Advisory Board tasked with implementing the recently passed HB 22-1362, a cost raising piece of the legislation that seeks to encourage building electrification.
Here’s the final make up of the board, per the CEO website:
|Board member||Appointment||Board Seat||Climate Zone & County|
|Director Rick Garcia or his designee (TBD)||DOLA||N/A||N/A|
|Aaron Martinez, VP of Operations and Sustainability, Urban Land Conservancy||DOLA||Affordable housing representative – nonprofit for-rent housing builder||Climate Zone 4/5, City and County of Denver|
|Lauren DeBell, Chief Strategy Officer, Elevation Community Land Trust||DOLA||Affordable housing representative – nonprofit for-sale housing builder||Climate Zone 4/5, Larimer County|
|Cody Davis, Commissioner, Mesa County||DOLA||Building operations expert||Climate Zone 4/5, Mesa County|
|Zachary Esquibel, Licensed Electrical Journeyman||DOLA||Licenced mechanical, electrical or plumbing trade representative||Climate Zone 4/5, Jefferson County|
|Sean Wyatt, Business Manager, Denver Plumbers Local #3||DOLA||Licenced mechanical, electrical or plumbing trade representative whom is a member of a labor organization||Climate Zone 4/5, Weld County|
|Thomas Riead, Mechanical Engineer, Tolin Mechanical Systems||DOLA||Mechanical, electrical or plumbing services contractor OR statewide association representative of such contractors||Climate Zone 4/5, Douglas County|
|Andrew Harris, Senior Officer, Richmond American Homes of Colorado, Inc.||DOLA||Statewide home building professionals organization representative||Climate Zone 4/5, City and County of Denver|
|Don Suppes, Commissioner, Delta County||DOLA||Rural county representative||Climate Zone 4/5, Delta County|
|Tim Pate, Chief Building Official, City and County of Broomfield||DOLA||Urban municipality representative||Climate Zone 4/5, City and County of Broomfield|
|Director Will Toor or his designee (TBD)||CEO||N/A||N/A|
|Kevin Eronimous, Licenced Architect, SAR+ Architects||CEO||Architect||Climate Zone 4/5, City and County of Denver|
|Brad Smith, Project Manager, Utility Energy Services, City of Fort Collins||CEO||Building energy code expert||Climate Zone 4/5, Larimer County|
|Mary Wiener, Energy Efficiency Program, Holy Cross Energy||CEO||Electric, gas, or electric & gas utility representative||Climate Zone 5, 6, 7, Garfield County|
|Kristen Taddonio, Senior Climate and Energy Advisor, Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development||CEO||Energy efficiency expert||Climate Zone 7, Grand County|
|Kim Wheels, Professional Mechanical Engineer, representing EcoAction Partners||CEO||Environmental or sustainability group representative||Climate Zone 6, San Miguel County|
|Chris Menges, Director of Climate Action, The Nature Conservancy||CEO||Environmental or sustainability group representative||Climate Zone 7, Pitkin County|
|Elizabeth Gillmor, Licensed Architectural Engineer, Energetics Consulting Engineers, LLC||CEO||Professional engineer with experience working on building systems||Climate Zone 4/5, Arapahoe County|
|Carolyn Elam, Sustainability Senior Manager, Energy Systems, City of Boulder||CEO||Solar power expert||Climate Zone 4/5, Boulder County|
|Jason MacMillan, Mayor Pro-Tem, Building Code Update Committee, Crested Butte Town Council||CEO||Rural municipality representative||Climate Zone 7, Gunnison County|
|Ron Flax, Chief Building Official, Boulder County||CEO||Urban county representative||Climate Zone 4/5, Boulder County|
As expected, many of the appointed board members are green building code loyalists.
For instance, the Colorado Energy Office appointee meant to represent rural interests is the Mayor Pro-Tempore of Crested Butte who helped lead the charge in making the city the first in the state to ban natural gas in all new builds during its most recent codes update.
Representatives of rural parts of Colorado were some of the most outspoken in their opposition to HB 1362 during the legislative session, mostly due to the potential added expense of the codes. It seems highly cynical to then appoint the leader of a ski town with an acute housing affordability crisis—who just added fuel to the fire with the most stringent green building codes in the state—to speak for those concerns.
HB 1362 as passed will require local jurisdictions (counties and municipalities) that set building codes to adopt and enforce the 2021 international energy conservation code (IECC) plus electric and solar-ready code language for new builds and renovations by July of 2026.
After July of 2026, any jurisdiction that moves to update building codes must also adopt and enforce model low-energy and low-carbon code language identified by the advisory board for new builds and renovations.
While the advisory board is granted some discretion, the bill specifies that the identified code language must include requirements for wiring to support building electrification whether or not a homeowner wishes to use natural gas for heating and appliances; infrastructure for electric vehicle charging whether or not a homeowner drives or plans to purchase an EV; and capacity for solar panels whether or not on-site solar is desirable or efficient on a given build.
The model codes to be adopted will be determined by a two-thirds vote of the advisory board. If a two-thirds consensus cannot be reached, an executive committee comprised of the Will Toor, Rick Garcia, one member each representing rural and urban interests, and one building code expert will get to choose the final language.
The advisory board’s meeting schedule has yet to be released. The board must establish electric-ready and solar-ready model code language by July 1, 2023. They must also establish model low energy and carbon codes by June 1, 2025.