Delaware SB 59 New Construction Mandates

Posted: 05/05/2009 by that's Elbert in Delaware, Politics
Tags: , ,

According to an email I received, Delaware Senate Bill 59 (link) will be going up for a vote on Tuesday 5/5. SB 59 updates building codes, forcing new homes to be “zero net energy capable homes.” It states:

A zero net energy capable home is defined as a commercial building or residence that annually, through the use of energy efficient construction, lighting, appliances, and on site renewable energy generation uses no more energy than is produced on site (zero net energy consumption from the utility provider).

That sounds like a nice idea and maybe a goal for an ideal home, however forcing new homes to comply with this is over the line. Promote it and encourage it, sure, but make builders do it? No way. How close are we to even having the ability to generate energy like this? Most of these alternative energy sources are still experimental and very pricey. It will most certainly drive the price of new homes out of the range of the middle class. Our only saving grace is this:

As of December 31, 2025 all new residential building construction in the state of Delaware Shall be zero net energy capable.  As of December 31, 2030 all new commercial building construction must also be zero net energy capable.

So we’ve got 16 years to get our science in gear. No pressure, right? The real motivation behind all this is stated in the synopsis:

This Act updates building code requirements for energy efficiency.  Updating building codes in this act will ensure that Delaware will receive its full share of Federal Stimulus dollars.

Yes, that stimulus money that Gen-X (my generation), Millennials, and beyond will be paying back. Uncle Sam now says that we can have that wonderful “stimulus” money if you do this and this. But really, should be expect anything else from Washington? Hopefully we will see real leadership in Dover sending this bill to the trash.

  1. You have to love how the government forces people to do their bidding. They have the carrot and stick method down perfectly.