Energy Conservation & Efficiency

Gov. Abbott vetoes energy efficiency bill

The bill would have helped electric grid while saving consumers money and reducing pollution

U.S. NAVY | Public Domain
A construction worker installs new energy-efficient windows

Gov. Abbott vetoed SB 2453, a bill allowing the state to adopt strong energy efficiency standards for new buildings, on Friday. The measure, collateral damage to an unrelated fight between the Governor and the state Senate over property taxes, would have cut energy demand from new homes, reducing strain on the electric grid.

The bill analysis notes that “the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code and the Energy Chapter of the 2021 International Residential Code have been shown by the Energy Systems Laboratory to be 5-10 percent more efficient than current state code. Allowing the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO) to implement these new codes would ensure that new construction is more energy and cost efficient.”

A study by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory found that the standards, over the next thirty years, would save Texas consumers $4.3 billion and prevent 45 million tons of pollution.

The bill had widespread support, including from the Sierra Club and the Texas Association of Builders, and its veto is a big disappointment.

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