Building upon previous collaborative efforts towards regional climate action, the Lacey City Council authorized the city manager to sign an Interlocal Agreement (ILA) with Thurston County and the cities of Olympia and Tumwater for the implementation of 2024 Thurston Climate Mitigation Collaborative (TCMC) Regional Initiatives.
Lacey's Climate and Sustainability coordinator Linsey Fields, said this year’s regional initiative consists of two main components: the Home Energy Score Disclosure Model Ordinance and the Energy Efficiency and Electrification (EEE) Campaign.
Fields explained that these initiatives are aligned with the Thurston Climate Mitigation Plan and aim to address energy efficiency and decarbonization at the regional level.
"The major thing we do every year is work collaboratively on one regional initiative, but really it's two - a policy portion and a program portion as well,” said Fields.
The Home Energy Score Disclosure Model Ordinance proposes a policy requiring energy audits and home energy scores for all home listings, while the EEE aims to promote residential decarbonization through various components, including a web-based information hub, advisory support services, and a local incentive and outreach campaign.
However, Councilmember Lenny Greenstein expressed concerns about the potential impact on housing affordability.
“I get it we want to be energy efficient, but at the same time, we constantly are talking about lack of affordable housing, yet we keep passing more things that drive up the cost of housing,” said Greenstein. “We can't have it both ways.”
Fields acknowledged the importance of considering affordability and low-income housing, noting that the Community Advisory Work Group has raised these concerns.
"We're excited to see what comes out of the legislature as well... We're in the planning phase and we'll see how it shakes out,” she added.
Under the ILA, each jurisdiction will receive $14,875 during the 2024 budget year to support the regional climate initiatives.
Under the ILA, each jurisdiction will receive $14,875 during the 2024 budget year to support the regional climate initiatives. The ILA does not mandate future funding for project implementation or require the adoption of the model ordinance. Future funding for the EEE campaign is expected to come from Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) formula grant funding.
Only Councilmember Greenstein voted ‘nay’ on the motion to authorize the city manager to sign the ILA.
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