Policy & Legislation:

For 2020, NCBPA seeks small successes and incremental progress during the 2020 Legislative Session, primarily because it is a short session and major or new legislation is not commonly taken up.  In addition to the legislative short session, NCBPA has a variety of advocacy, utility and local government policy initiatives planned.

NCBPA’s 2020 Policy and Legislation Plan

Click on the file below to view NCBPA’s detailed 2020 Policy and Legislation Plan.

Policy and Legislative Activities for 2020:

NCBPA’s 2020 Legislative Agenda highlights utility incentive programs, the commercial and industrial energy efficiency opt-out allowance, and much more!  

  1. Continue 2019 efforts to enable HB330 to expand performance contracting opportunities.
  2. Add an Energy seat to the NC Building Code Council.
  3. Define reasonable amendments to the state’s current commercial and industrial buildings energy efficiency opt-out allowance to allow for increased tracking of energy efficiency benefits and increased utility energy efficiency programs for non-residential buildings.
  4. Define reasonable amendments to F, S and U building type energy code exemptions AND repeal other exemptions for major retrofits and residential garage EE requirements.
  5. Define legislation to create a 90-day BCC/DOI review for legislative action on code using 2019 Brody bill as example.
  6. Enable C-PACE legislation (if 2019 work proves viable).
  7. Prioritize and act on recommendations from the 2019 Energy Efficiency Roadmap and the 2019 Clean Energy Plan.
  8. Define legislative pathway that improves energy efficiency’s role in the state’s REEEPS (portfolio standard) AND that increases the state’s minimum energy efficiency requirements for regulated utilities by establishing new annual milestones and modernizing energy efficiency utility program cost effectiveness testing protocols and standards.
  9. Enable non-energy benefits in regulated utility EE programs through updates to NC building code OR legislation.
  10. Define legislation that removes market and regulatory barriers for Appraisers, Real Estate Professionals and Lenders to participate in properly valuing the higher financial value of energy efficient, green and high performance homes and buildings.
  11. Research possibility of state tax credit/rebate for very high energy efficient homes and buildings that set strong examples for NC.
  12. Expand Duke Energy’s Residential New Construction Program to the Duke Energy Carolinas territory.
  13. Continue to work with Duke Energy to create new and improve existing non-residential energy efficiency incentive programs.

Updates on our Priority Policy Activities – as of June 2, 2020:

HB330 – NCBPA’s Performance Contracting Bill: NCBPA’s Ryan Miller has been speaking with legislators and members over the past few weeks to formulate our plans to advance HB330 during the short session. Currently, we are pushing for the bill to be heard in a Senate committee. Click here for more information.

Commercial Property Assessed Capital Expenditures (C-PACE): NCBPA continues to push for answers from the Treasurer’s office regarding their opposition to the bill that we originally introduced in 2017. Click here for more information on our latest activities on C-PACE.

Commercial & Industrial Energy Efficiency Opt-Out: Following a meeting with the the new Executive Director and staff from Carolina Utility Customers Association (CUCA) in January of 2020 to discuss our plans for changes to Senate Bill 3, the “Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard”, NCBPA’s Ryan Miller has begun discussions with the NC Department of Environmental Quality and Department of Commerce regarding conducting a business survey that wold better inform all stakeholders interested in this issue on the sentiments of customers choosing to opt-out. NCBPA maintains that there are likely many new energy saving opportunities for small to mid-sized industrial customers and new reporting requirements for major industrials. We will continue to work on this opportunity and report back to our members on progress.

Residential Code Change Issue with ERI and Spray Foam: No updates were provided on this issue at last week’s quarterly NC Building Code Council meeting. Council staff is still working with regulators on whether or not the code change proposal, which was submitted by Jeff Tiller and Robert Privott in early 2019 and approved as D item in the September 2019 meeting, will become law. It’s official approval continues to be held up due to a lack of financial justification. NCBPA will continue to monitor this situation and will report to our members as soon as we know more. Click here and look for item D-9 for more information on this proposal.

Exemptions with PIMA: NCBPA will soon provide new information to our members and industry regarding steps we’re taking to advocate and lobby for changes to legislation that exempts new and existing commercial buildings of several types from having to meet any energy code requirements. We are currently formulating our plans with partners including Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA) and will provide more information in the coming weeks.

NCHBA Green Building Council: NCBPA member Randy Lanou of BuildSense in Durham led his first meeting on Feb 18th as the new Chair of NC Home Builders Association’s Green Building Council, which NCBPA and some of our members have been active participants in for years. During the meeting, Randy successfully led discussion that resulted in approved votes on items that NCBPA and our members have been advocating for years. They include changing the name of the group to the High Performance Building Committee, changing the makeup from Council to Committee (a technicality), and adding more meetings in between the three one-hour meetings currently offered. We appreciate Randy’s leadership and look forward to supporting his efforts in 2020 and 2021! Contact us to coordinate on efforts to support Randy’s work leading this Committee!

Residential Code Change Issue with ERI and Spray Foam: Thus far there has been NO official confirmation that the code change proposal submitted by Jeff Tiller and Robert Privott in early 2019 and approved as D item in the September 2019 meeting has been fully approved yet. In summary, though this code change proposal passed the NC Building Code Council, it’s official approval was held up due to a lack of financial justification. NCBPA will continue to monitor this situation and hopes to learn more during the March 10th NCBCC meeting. Click here and look for item D-9 for more information on this proposal. As of June 1, 2020, we believe that NCHBA and Jeff Tiller are resubmitting this proposal with the required financial analysis, though it has not been shared with us.

Energy Policy Council and Energy Efficiency Subcommittee: NCBPA’ Ryan Miller attended the EPC’s EE Subcommittee meeting in early 2020 in Raleigh. The Subcommittee is led by Scott Tew of member company Ingersoll Rand and is currently drafting recommendations for growth in energy efficiency for the EPC’s bi-annual report to the Governor and Legislature. NCBPA is working with Subcommittee members to ensure that our members’ priorities are again included in the report. The 2018 report included 26 recommendations for energy efficiency! Click here for a recap on that report and the EPC’s work.

Prescriptive Measures Needed for NCHFA’s Multifamily Affordable Housing Program: NCBPA has been working with staff from NC Housing Finance Agency to advocate for improvements to the Qualified Allocation Plan’s minimum energy efficiency standards, which are currently at ENERGY STAR 2.0 for low income multifamily buildings. Technically, these standards are below NC’s 2018 energy code. NCBPA shared recommendations for improved standards via a comment letter on May 4, 2020. NCBPA, our members and partners will continue to advocate for further improvements to the minimum standards as well as incentives for developers that go above and beyond.

Duke Energy Energy Efficiency Collaborative: NCBPA continues to participate in the bi-monthly stakeholder meetings seeking new and improved energy efficiency programs at Duke Energy. In late 2018, we released a report detailing the work that we, Duke Energy and other energy efficiency advocates have been leading over the past several years through Duke Energy’s Energy Efficiency Collaborative. The “Collaborative” holds bi-monthly meetings that provide opportunities for these stakeholders to work together to improve and expand the utility’s energy efficiency programs in both states. Since early 2018, NCBPA has been leading these efforts as a representative of North Carolina’s energy efficiency contractors and Trade Allies. Read this report to learn how your company and its customers can benefit from our work and help make it even better in 2020 by joining NCBPA as a member company. Click here to read the report.

HB675 and New Energy Code Cost-Benefit Analysis:  New legislation was signed by the Governor on July 26, 2019 that requires the NC Building Code Council to develop a cost-benefit methodology and subsequently perform the analysis on all future energy code changes. NCBPA led advocacy efforts against HB675 that resulted in modifications to very harmful language in the original bill.  With the bill now law, industry participation will be required to help the NCBCC and NC Department of Insurance develop the methodology and perform the analysis. Our industry needs to get ahead of this issue and apply research already performed by NCBPA staff to form recommendations.  Action Requested: Help us develop this methodology and play a role in ensuring that our industry’s future energy code proposals have a pathway to being approved.