In a somewhat unusual move, Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal has stated that he will not mandate green building codes in his state. While many other states in the nation are instituting green building programs
, Wyoming will buck the trend.
This announcement came during an interview after a speaking engagement at the Western States Energy and Environment Symposium. Instead of mandating green building codes to help improve energy efficiency among the state’s buildings, the governor plans to adjust utility company incentives in the state.
In a March 2009 letter
(PDF) to Energy Secretary Stephen Chu, Gov. Freudenthal states:
“The state is willing to measure and report local government adoption of building energy codes and share information statewide and in accordance with the reporting mechanisms outlined in the SEP.
The state, however, is in no position to assert whether or not local governments will implement residential or commercial building energy codes in accordance with H.R. 1.”
H.R. 1 is the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and SEP is the State Energy Program funding provided to participating states through the Recovery Act.
A quick search of the U.S. Green Building Council’s database shows that there are only seven LEED certified projects in the state. Although many green building projects are completed without pursuing LEED certification, the LEED rating systems are one of the most popular green building programs in the world and serve as a good measure of the quantity of green buildings in a given region.
Residents and business owners in Wyoming will be left to their own devices when it comes to green building. Although mandated green building codes aren’t in the near-term plans for the state, this does not preclude building owners from taking the initiative to embark on green renovations or eco-friendly new construction projects.