Sunday, June 3, 2012

Follies: California's Lonely War Against Climate

Watch out, sun! California is about to pass some new state-wide building regulations to combat the dread Climate Change:

California added new energy-efficiency requirements to the state's building code this week, a move expected to reduce energy consumption but also add to the cost of construction of houses and commercial buildings. 
The revisions, which take effect in 2014, are the biggest change in the energy-efficiency portion of the California code since it was created in 1978. 
Regulators at the California Energy Commission, the agency responsible for updates, said the changes will make houses and commercial buildings 25% to 30% more energy-efficient and eventually will produce energy savings equivalent to the output of six large power plants. 
But even supporters expressed concern about the cost, especially when imposed on a building industry in the doldrums. For example, the energy commission said new requirements could add approximately $2,290 to the cost of the average new home. 
The commission said energy savings would more than make up for the added cost, though it could take years to reach the break-even point.

Here's a classic bit of nannying rationalization:

New office buildings will be required to incorporate features that admit more natural light, reducing lighting and air-conditioning use. Homes will be built with improved insulation and whole-house fans. Most also will have roofs designed to accommodate solar panels by including sections that have good sun exposure that are free of vents or other obstructions. 
Karen Douglas, a member of the commission, said many homeowners want to install solar panels, whose cost has dropped, but find "they can't because there's a kitchen vent or something else in the way."

As if no roofer ever relocated a freakin' pipe! Also, I'd like to know how many homeowners have actually called Ms. Douglas, or any other commissioner, and said solar panels are great except there's a vent in the way. 

It goes without saying that all of this will add to the cost of building a new home. (even proponents admit that the new regs will add an average of $3,000 to the cost of a new home, so I think I'm safe in predicting that number will double or triple without much effort). That will do wonders for builders and contractors who have seen their industries virtually destroyed by the popped housing bubble. It will do nothing to make housing more affordable, supposedly a subject of Deep Concern among all good liberals. In fact, there will likely be less new housing, meaning the same old housing stock will continue to sell at inflated prices. All in service of fighting "climate change," one of the worst political hoaxes of all time. 

These are just the sort of "green" rules and regulations that are supposedly saving the world (you're welcome), but killing the state. Unless you are building a useless high speed rail, of course. Then those rules are waived. Have a nice day. 

But, hey, keep voting for Democrats if that's what makes you feel good. 

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