The legislative session may be ending soon, but that doesn’t mean things are winding down. With less than three weeks left in the session, lawmakers are working at a feverish pace to get bills over the finish line.
HB 2398 A is one of the most important energy bills of this session— and we need your help to make sure lawmakers know how critical it is to pass the bill this year.
HB 2398 A is a sensible step in providing local governments with a framework to improve energy efficiency in new affordable housing. HB 2398 A would enable cities across Oregon to adopt a state REACH Code that is at least 10% more energy efficient than the state’s base residential and commercial codes. A REACH Code is a set of optional construction standards that are designed to increase the energy efficiency of buildings above the mandatory statewide building code. This bill would simply provide an option for builders to adopt a stronger code. The bill would not mandate anything. Instead, cities will each have a choice to adopt the base code or the more efficient REACH Code.
Right now the bill is being reviewed by the Joint Ways & Means Committee — the final committee it must pass out of before it goes to a final vote by the House and then the Senate. If we want this bill to move forward before the session ends, it’s imperative that we reach out to legislative leadership ASAP.
While energy efficiency benefits all, its benefits will have a greater impact on low-income households. HB 2398 is supported by over 40 community organizations and Oregon cities, as well as the Metropolitan Mayors Consortium, which includes mayors from 26 cities across Oregon. A number of affordable housing advocates also support HB 2398 A.