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Idaho Building Code Board tables cuts to energy efficiency regulations

A heating and cooling control on the wall of a house.
Eric Mcean

The Idaho Building Code Board tabled an action Tuesday that could have removed large chunks of the energy efficiency codes.

The board was considering cuts to some energy efficiency requirements for commercial and residential buildings. They regulate the energy efficiency of heating and cooling equipment and lighting, as well as how air-tight a building is.

For nine months, the group has been deliberating under a 2020 order by Gov. Brad Little to cut “costly, ineffective and outdated” state regulations.

But in the five-hour-long meeting Tuesday, the board decided it still didn’t have enough information on the possible effects of the cuts to make a decision.

“We’re just driving around in circles right now," said board member Jeremy Maxand. "We don’t know what the destination is.”

The board deliberated over technical components of the energy codes and whether they are sufficiently covered in other state building and construction laws.

Members also raised fundamental questions about how they were supposed to approach cutting the "red tape" under Little's order.

Most public comments sent in before the meeting were against the proposed changes.

The board will likely pick up this discussion in February of next year.

Find reporter Rachel Cohen on Twitter @racheld_cohen

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As the south-central Idaho reporter, I cover the Magic and Wood River valleys. I also enjoy writing about issues related to health and the environment.

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