HBAI OPPOSES SB2896 – CAR CHARGERS & STRETCH ENERGY CODE
The Home Builders Association of Illinois opposes passage of SB2896 and HB 4074 and respectfully requests a NO Vote on their consideration.
Section 20 of the Consumers & Climate First Act would mandate Electric Vehicle Car Chargers on every existing home when the home is renovated. Homeowners must install a working car charger for every parking space should any renovation require additional electrical service capacity.
All new homes must have working car chargers for each parking space as well. A two-car garage will require two car chargers costing $1050 for each parking space and $1000 for an additional service panel.
HBAI and the Illinois Association of Realtors offer an affordable and reasonable alternative. We ask that the bill be amended to mandate only new construction to be “electric car charger capable.” Conduit would run from the service panel to the garage, the electrical line and the proper electrical socket would be installed when the homeowner elects to purchase an electric car. The cost of this mandate would be $500 and would not require existing homeowners to expand their service until they elect to do so.
Section 850 of the Consumers & Climate First Act allows units of local government to pass ordinances imposing the Stretch Energy Code on all new residential & commercial construction. This would break a long-standing state policy for a uniform State Energy Code that keeps pace with the most recent code developed by the International Code Council.
- Current law mandates that homes in Illinois are built to the most recently published edition of the Energy Conservation Code produced by the International Code Council (ICC), and for good reason.
- The code is uniform because municipalities are not required to inspect or approve Energy Code standards in Illinois. Builders are on their own to build to the code and are liable should they not build to the Illinois Energy Conservation Code (I-ECC) standards.
- The Stretch Energy Code (SEC) would allow localities to mandate standards that never underwent the rigorous process by which the ICC publishes and the I-ECC, the Capital Development Board, and the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules adopts.
- Municipalities will be allowed to mandate new, untested requirements and bear no responsibility for proper installation or regard for cost increases.
- Increased building regulations without proper municipal inspections will create an unfortunate but predictable situation where unscrupulous contractors build outside the code for less cost while law-abiding home builders attempt to compete against law-breaking builders who see no risk in building below code.
- In addition, new homes built with solar panels, geo-thermal heat pumps, and other forms of on-site energy generation will not be credited toward building to SEC standards.
- Whatever incentives are offered by Illinois to produce affordable housing will be flattened by this new code.
Proponents for the Stretch Energy Code need to be called upon to explain how the SEC works prior to passage. Otherwise, Illinoisans will be holding another bag of expensive regulations that no one knows anything about. Please delete the Stretch Energy Code from these two bills until we all know the advantages and disadvantages of the SEC.
For these reasons, the Home Builders Association of Illinois requests these amendments to the SB2896 & HB4074 prior to final passage. Your consideration on this important matter is greatly appreciated.