Energy and Technology Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-6377

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING GREEN BUILDING REGULATIONS.

Vote Date:

3/19/2009

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable

PH Date:

3/17/2009

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Energy and Technology Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

This bill makes three changes to the existing statute. First, it seeks to remove the dollar criteria foe which the regulations would apply. It replaces this threshold with a square footage criterion. The second change removes both the Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Office of Policy and Management from responsibility for granting exemptions to the compliance with these standards. The responsibility for exemptions would lie with the Department of Public Works. Lastly, this bill would change the responsibility for the promulgation of the required regulations from OPM to DPW.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Office of Policy and Management, submitted testimony stating that DPW is the primary executive branch agency with the administrative and technical infrastructure to oversee implementation of the regulations. It makes sense that any future changes that may be needed, as a result of changes to the underlying energy or environmental standards, would best be addressed by the agency where the technical expertise is already resident.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

NONE

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Martin Mandor, Sierra Club, spoke in opposition stating that there is no conceivable reason to delay the process for another year, as HB 6377 would do by the change in effective date in line 45. This bill also changes the applicability threshold form minimum cost to minimum size, and appoints the Commissioner of Public Works as the official to grant exemptions from the requirement. Sierra has no objection to these provisions. However, we request the addition of language that requires that the written analysis of the cost/benefit ratio take into account the enhanced productivity, including reduced absenteeism, of occupants of green buildings.

Charles Rothenberger, Connecticut Fund for the Environment,submitted testimony in opposition.

Reported by: Jessica Rosario

Date: March 24, 2009