Updates on Pennsylvania Building Codes and Solar Borders

A brief update on Pennsylvania Building Code and Solar Borders policies this week as a couple good things have been happening.

105 solar panels are installed at Littlestown Veterinary Hospital in Littlestown, PA. Photo: U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr

Building Codes: On Tuesday the Review and Advisory Council voted on the last section of the 2015 codes for adoption – the International Energy Conservation Code, the most contentious section.  Fortunately, I was able to get some informal updates on how the public hearing/voting went on Tuesday from those who were able to attend..  It went amazingly well!  Informally, it looks like we will get the 2015 (and 2012) Codes with little modification.  There were some compromises made – but it is much better than expected.   We’ll have to wait for the official news  on what the RAC recommends till May 1st.  We’ll be sure to do some type of excited blog post or press release then.  Just a reminder – these recommendations will be enforced starting in October of this year.  So yay!  Finally updated building codes in PA!  Also, we had unprecedented public participation during the comment period of this code cycle, summed up here: https://www.go-gba.org/comments-to-adopt-energy-efficiency-codes-submitted-to-the-state-of-pennsylvania/


PA Solar Boarders: And on Thursday the Public Utility Commission voted on the interpretation of Act 40: and again, we got almost everything with very little compromise.  Act 40’s passage was intended to close PA’s solar borders, only allowing solar installations physically located within the state to count towards the state’s 0.5% solar requirement, as laid out in the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard.  There was a wonky interpretation that grandfathered in solar installations located out of state – there was quite of bit of advocacy to fight that interpretation, and it seems to have been quite effective.  This interpretation by the PUC of Act 40 is one of the required steps to encourage solar installations in the state, and along with other measures (like increasing the solar AEPS requirement from 0.5%) will help to increase the value of Solar Renewable Energy Credits within the state.



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