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House Bill 546 – Establishing the Idaho Energy Conservation Code

House Bill 546 – Establishing the Idaho Energy Conservation Code

Niklas Kleinworth
February 17, 2022

Bill Description: HB546 recognizes in statute the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code adopted by the Idaho Building Code Board and prohibits counties, cities, or special districts from imposing any regulations that are more stringent.

Rating: +1

Does it give government any new, additional, or expanded power to prohibit, restrict, or regulate activities in the free market?

Under current statute, counties, cities, and special districts may make amendments to the state’s energy conservation code to impose new regulations based on local concerns.  These measures cannot be less restrictive than those approved by the Idaho Building Code Board, but they may be more restrictive, encouraging increasing government regulation at the local level. 

A key provision of HB546 is that it repeals local governments’ ability to impose additional energy conservation regulations on their constituents, and repeals existing local requirements. This new statute would maintain that local governments cannot pass regulations that are less restrictive than the Idaho Energy Conservation Code, which is unfortunate, but barring them from expanding regulations reduces the power and size of government in these areas.


Analyst Note:

The Idaho Building Code Board adopted the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code as the official regulatory code for building construction in the Gem State. Since  HB546 merely  recognizes this existing state requirement in Idaho statute, it does not impose any new regulations on energy conservation measures in Idaho’s building codes.

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