We’ve been doing green building for quite some time, and we’re glad to hear that Governor Kate Brown is also supporting it through green building mandates. We believe in building a community that consciously takes steps to leave a lighter footprint on the earth. Our homes are built with healthy materials that have energy efficiency in mind. Whether it’s building a home on the geothermal loop or installing solar panels to generate energy, our mission is to live healthy and live better together. We also have an electric station for cars to power up on cleaner fuel. With the Oregon’s Capitol taking actions toward a greener standards, we’re happy to continue being a leader in sustainability.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed executive orders on Monday to impose sweeping green energy mandates on new construction and help triple the number of electric vehicles in the state by 2020.
The governor signed the orders at a ceremony in Portland, before she travels to Germany later this week to attend the United Nations climate talks.
The goal of Brown’s two executive orders is to “drive the state’s efforts forward in reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” she told reporters after the event. “Buildings, both residential and commercial, consume about 30 percent of Oregon’s energy use.”
Under the governor’s first executive order, new homes built after September 2020 must be equipped for solar panel installation and commercial buildings must meet the same mandate by October 2022. By October 2022, all parking structures for new homes and commercial buildings must be wired for at least one electric vehicle charger.
And by October 2023, Brown has directed the state’s Building Codes Division to require all new homes to be “zero-energy ready.” California has adopted a similar goal for new homes to generate as much energy as they consume. New commercial construction will also face energy efficiency mandates, and all new construction must use high-efficiency water fixtures.
The governor’s second executive order sets a goal of at least 50,000 registered electric vehicles in the state by 2020, a huge increase over just three years from the 16,000 currently registered.
State government will help Oregon meet that goal, through mandates in the governor’s executive order to increase state purchases of electric vehicles and install more charging stations on government property.
The surprise imposition of major new regulations on the construction industry upset Sen. Alan Olsen, a Republican from Canby who is a general contractor. Olsen is also vice-chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources.
“Why didn’t she bring it to the Legislature?” Olsen asked, before answering his own question. “Because she knew she couldn’t get it passed.”
Olsen said Brown was “taking a page out of the playbook of Barack Obama,” referring to the president’s use of executive orders. Presidents of both parties, including Donald Trump, have used executive orders to enact policies that lacked legislative support.
“You talk about not being able to afford housing,” Olsen said. “That’s going to add to the cost of a house. It’s going to be astronomical.”
Others applauded Brown’s executive orders. The nation’s most powerful trade group for car manufacturers said in a press release that “Brown’s leadership in committing such resources to jump-start an (electric vehicle) marketplace sets an example for other states who have committed to similar goals.”