KCMO Reaffirms Support of National Energy Codes Despite Manipulation of the Process

At its Oct. 13, 2022, Kansas City, Mo., City Council meeting, the council voted 9-4 to approve the unamended 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for home building, effective July 1, 2023. Unfortunately, as this video explains, the 2021 IECC codes adoption process was manipulated by national special interest groups and the code as it currently stands should never have been approved in the first place.

Last week, an ordinance (#230507) was introduced by Kansas City, Mo., Councilman Dan Fowler to delay the effective date of the codes by three months and once again the city council bowed to the special interest groups as they voted yesterday, June 15, to preserve the July 1 effective date by a vote of 4-7.

The Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City (KCHBA) recognizes climate change is impacting the KC area and believes in taking appropriate, measured steps to reduce its impact while also ensuring those steps are not creating new challenges for growth and prosperity. Home ownership remains one of the best ways to establish long-term financial stability for most Americans. The version of the energy code that will now go into effect July 1 will add thousands of upfront costs to a newly built home. For every $1,000 added to the cost of a home, 780 families in Kansas City, Mo., are priced out of the market to purchase that house, which means more than 24,000 families could face more limited homeownership options and economic stability.

“While disappointing, the city council’s vote to move forward with implementing a flawed energy code absent any local expertise was not surprising,” said Will Ruder, Executive Vice President of the KCHBA. “Given the documented concerns about how the ICC process to draft the code was conducted and coupled with the city’s unwillingness to make the code work for Kansas City by collaborating with local construction experts, it would appear that the city is comfortable with outsourcing its construction standards. We are hopeful that the city improves this process in future code cycles.”

KCMO and other jurisdictions need to understand that the 2021 IECC adoption process was exploited and that local stakeholders must play a role in the code adoption process to ensure fairness and appropriateness for each jurisdiction. While the ICC guides the codes process, it is not perfect and the IECC must be thoughtfully considered by all parties involved before approval.