Councilwoman Naeole-Beason on the International Energy Conservation Code

Commentary by Councilwoman Naeole-Beason:

Aloha mai,

The County of Hawai‘i has adopted the 2006 edition of the International Energy Conservation Code, with local amendments.  This adoption was done via Ordinance 09-48, Bill No. 385 (Draft 2) and currently has an effective date of May 11, 2010.  There are serious concerns about the necessity of this code for the County of Hawai‘i and the County’s preparedness to properly enforce this code.

As a result, I, Councilmember Emily Naeole-Beason have introduced Bill 234 delaying the effective date until January 11, 2011 in order to provide reasonable time to evaluate the new Energy Conservation Code as to its contents and if it is appropriate for the County of Hawai‘i.

Typically the adoption of an energy conservation code is to minimize the use of heating and air conditioning for energy savings purposes and accomplishing this through construction and materials which will provide higher R values.  In theory, with the higher R values, the need for energy consuming heating and air conditioning will be drastically reduced or eliminated.

Unfortunately, the new code will require a minimum of R-13 wall and R-19 ceiling construction.  This will have a major impact in residential construction by eliminating single wall construction, large open screened windows and many other currently common construction practices that make Hawai‘i housing unique and island living friendly.  It will most likely have a severe economical impact on residential construction.

We are asking all architects in the County of Hawai‘i to support Bill 234 to delay the effective date so as to give time to do a thorough review of the new code as to its necessity, cost effectiveness, requirements, and impact on the residential life styles presently found here in Hawai‘i.

We ask that you please make comment as to your thoughts the new Energy Conservation Code, either by written format or by a personal appearance at the Council meeting.  All comments will be much appreciated and will provide the necessary information needed by all Council members to approve the delaying of the Codes effective date.

If the Bill 234 passes and we obtain a delay, then we must organize a committee to do a thorough review of the proposed code to make sure it is what the County wants and needs and accomplishes the goal in a cost effective and efficient way.  It is very important that local architects and mechanical engineers that will be continuously dealing with the new requirements participate in the review process and we ask for your assistance.

Listed below are all the Council member’s email addresses and phone numbers so you can provide your comments, I have also included the email address for council testimony if you are unable to come in person.

Lau lima,

Emily Naeole-Beason

Council Vice Chair

Councilmember 5th District

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