Council passes bill updating energy conservation code

HILO — The Hawaii County Council unanimously voted Wednesday to pass at first reading a bill updating the county’s energy conservation code.

The bill updates the county’s energy conservation code, which is based on a 2006 version of the International Energy Conservation Code, and adds 46 additional amendments out of consideration for the Big Island’s climate.

The proposed new code — based on a 2015 version of the IECC — grants several exceptions to standards that were considered overly stringent in the older code. In many cases, requirements for air conditioning, insulation or air-tightness are waived for residences in the tropical zone, which is also expanded in the new code.

The council passed the bill without any discussion. Although only one person testified about the bill at Wednesday’s meeting — speaking in support — the bill was generally popular among members of the public at a meeting in December.

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