ConstructionPro Week, Volume: Construction Advisor Today - Issue: 124 - 09/09/2011

Several States Adopt New Green-Building Laws

Green Building Insider has compiled a list of several state green-building bills that recently were passed into law or are awaiting gubernatorial endorsement. Here are summaries of those measures:

 

Illinois -- Gov. Pat Quinn (D) last month signed legislation (H.B. 166) to promote collaborative efforts -- between the state and Illinois’ colleges, universities, and research centers -- to advance green technology. Such efforts may include the development of courses and initiatives to align green job programs with employer needs. Under the new law, the state Board of Higher Education and Illinois Community College Board once a year will publish information related to new degrees, certifications, and courses offered by universities that involve green technology. The Higher Education Green Jobs and Technology Act is expected to strengthen an existing partnership, called the Illinois Green Economy Network, a consortium of the state’s 48 community colleges that is geared toward bolstering career development in energy efficiency and renewable energy.

 

Maryland –- Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) recently signed into law a measure enabling the adoption of the International Green Construction Code by all local governments across the state. This law adds what is considered an important complement to the state’s existing green building policy. Current state law requires state-owned buildings and state-funded schools to be designed and built to beyond-code green building rating systems, namely the Silver level rating of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green building rating system. State statue also offers a corporate and personal income tax credit for green buildings that, while officially available through the end of this year, fulfilled its goals by July 2009.

 

New York –- S3755B, which has been approved by the state legislature and is awaiting Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) endorsement, would allow independent not-for-profit colleges and universities to access energy-related projects, programs, and services of the New York power Authority (NYPA), and expand the scope of NYPA’s “energy related projects, programs, and services.” The state’s Public Authorities Law authorizes NYPA to design, develop, finance, construct, implement, or provide and administer energy-related projects, programs, and services for public entities and for recipients of various NYPA power allocation programs. The purpose of this provision is to enhance the energy efficiency, clean energy, energy service, and green building programs administered by NYPA, reduce energy consumption, and mitigate environmental impacts from energy usage consistent with the state’s energy and environmental policies.

 

Vermont -- Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) has signed into law the Vermont Energy bill (H. 56), a package of what are considered modest but positive provisions to expand opportunities for small-scale solar projects and pave the way for the implementation of clean energy financing program for property owners, often referred to as the Property Assessed Clean Energy program. Lawmakers took a measured approach on energy legislation partly because they are awaiting the development of a comprehensive statewide energy plan, slated to be completed this fall. That plan may be the foundation for more aggressive and far-reaching policy-making on energy and climate-change issues next year. Among other things, the new law creates a working group on building energy disclosure to study whether and how to require disclosure of the energy efficiency of commercial and residential buildings to make such information available in the marketplace for real property, and to submit to the general assembly by Dec. 15 a report with recommended legislation.

In addition, USGBC has released a report on recent state green building activity. To access the report, visithttp://www.usgbc.org/ShowFile.aspx?DocumentID=10055.

 

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