Roadmap to Zero Net Energy Building Code

Code Advocacy – Call to Action on September 27!

The 2018 energy code will be critical to achieving zero carbon homes by 2030. This is a call to action to ensure that we do not lose momentum toward this goal! The code cycle currently underway is the last chance to improve the code until 2023. There is an upcoming public hearing in Olympia on September 27 – more information and how to attend or call-in is below.

Learn about the major proposed changes to the commercial and residential energy code in this advocacy overview. Changes to the building energy code are first reviewed and moved forward by the State Building Code Council’s (SBCC) Energy Code Technical Advisory Group (TAG), and then the SBCC releases a package of proposals for public comment. It is critical for the SBCC to hear from the public during this time, in particular:

  • Practitioners (e.g., architects, engineers, developers) who can speak to the viability and cost-effectiveness of these changes, as well as client demand for more efficient buildings.
  • Advocates who can speak to the broader context of why energy codes are an important part of reducing carbon emissions, keeping utility costs low, helping ensure the health of building occupants, and maximizing the use of Washington’s clean electricity resources.

You can provide public comment in person, or by calling in, at upcoming meetings listed below. Written comment is also accepted. More information on meeting documents and location information is available here.

Join the advocacy for an innovative, sustainable energy code! For more information, including details on providing testimony, please contact


Shift Zero Roadmap to ZNE Code Task Force

Shift Zero will support key energy code proposals for the Washington State Energy Code and the advancement of a strategic roadmap for zero net energy building codes. Along with specific code change proposals, the roadmap will identify political, structural, and/or market changes that must happen simultaneously to allow the code changes to be successful.

The State of Washington passed an energy code mandate that could get us to zero net energy “ready” buildings by 2031 with RCW 19.27A.130-190: “the 2031 state energy code must achieve a seventy percent reduction in annual net energy consumption.” This current law can be used as a catalyst to achieving ZNC buildings at scale. In order to achieve the stated goal of 70% energy use reduction, it effectively implies a move away from burning fossil fuels directly for space or water heating and a move to electric heat pump technologies and high-performance envelopes. Achieving the goals of the energy code mandate can help us transition to zero net carbon commercial and residential buildings in Washington.


View Other Shift Zero Task Force Initiatives:

Featured Image: zHome | Issaquah, WA
Architect: David Vandervort Architects | Builder: Ichijo USA
Project Partners: City of Issaquah, King County, Built Green, Puget Sound Energy, Port Blakely Communities, and WSU Energy Extension
Photo courtesy of zHome
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