Over my first few cups of coffee this morning, I had an odd sensation. What could it be? That slightly warm feeling eminating from my heart--oh, now I remember, hope! That's what it is. Not a lot of hope (although as I write this the dow is up 133 points), but certainly a few rays...
1. Industry organizations and utilities are embracing energy efficiency measures, including enhancing building code requirements. According to Greenerbuildings.com
Environmental and energy groups, including the association that represents almost 70 percent of the country's utilities, are urging swift passage of a stimulus package that includes provisions for energy efficiency programs that they say would help jumpstart an economic recovery through the creation of green jobs.
Most significant from a green building law perspective, is that these groups are advocating for block grants to state and local governments to "be contingent on adoption of regulatory changes that make building codes tougher — and "major investments" in energy efficiency projects by utilities easier. "
2. As I predicted in my post Pink is the New Green, energy efficiency is at the top of the legislative agenda. It is being incorporated into the stimulus package, and local municipalities are embracing it as well. Washington DC updated its building codes to ASHRAE 90.1 2007 and included some new green provisions.
3. The Bicycle Commuter Act passed--A benefit originally proposed seven years ago by .S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore. provides $20/month to those who commute primarily by bicycle.
Of course, we are still waiting to see what the green provisions of the economic stimulus package will be, but these actions are very positive signs of change in our national zeitgeist.