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Gas industry drops legal challenge to heat pump requirement in Washington building code

Regulations

Gas industry drops legal challenge to heat pump requirement in Washington building code

The code mandates electrification of new residential and commercial buildings in Washington State.


By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | August 23, 2023
Photo by Varadh Jain on Unsplash - Gas industry drops legal challenge to heat pump requirement in Washington building code
Photo by Varadh Jain on Unsplash

Gas and construction industry groups recently moved to dismiss a lawsuit they had filed to block new Washington state building codes that require heat pumps in new residential and commercial construction.

The lawsuit contended that the codes harm the industry groups’ business, interfere with consumer energy choice, and don’t comply with federal law. The dismissal of the lawsuit follows a federal judge’s denial of the plaintiffs’ request to negate the building electrification requirement in the codes.

The lawsuit was filed shortly after a federal appeals court overturned Berkeley, California’s first-in-the-nation ban on gas hookups in new buildings. Berkeley had a different approach to the prohibition of gas in new buildings than the one taken by Washington. Unlike Berkeley, Washington effectively embedded the ban in its building codes by linking it to carbon emissions standards. Berkeley, on the other hand, enacted a sweeping ban on all gas hookups.

Washington’s building code changes passed last year are part of an effort to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions in the state by 2050.

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