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Attorney General says city energy-efficiency proposal violates state law

A proposal from Las Vegas City Councilman Bob Beers to eliminate energy-efficiency requirements for rehabbed buildings older than four years — a proposal that would affect would-be re-dos in downtown Las Vegas — has attracted national attention and criticism from conservation groups. Also on the critical side is the Nevada Attorney General, who sent this letter to the city of Las Vegas arguing that eliminating the energy code for older buildings would violate state law. The city council is scheduled to consider the issue June 19.

 

CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO
Attorney General
STATE OF NEVADA
OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
100 North Carson Street
Carson City, Nevada 89701-4717

 

June 4, 2013

Carolyn G. Goodman, Mayor
City of Las Vegas
495 South Main Street
Las Vegas, NV 89101

 

Re: Bill No.: 2013-24

Dear Honorable Mayor Goodman:

Bill No. 2013-24 sponsored by Councilman Bob Beers amends the City's version of the Southem Nevada Amendments to the 2009 Intemational Energy Conservation Code to exempt certain activity regarding buildings constructed before 2009 from complying with energy conservation standards that otherwise would apply.

Pursuant to NRS 701.220 the State of Nevada, Governor's Office of Energy adopted the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) as the statewide minimum standard for energy conservation in buildings and manufactured homes. Under the statute, the Director of the Office of Energy is mandated to adopt regulations for the conservation of energy in buildings and the regulations must include the adoption of the most recent version of the IECC. Additionally, the standards adopted by the Director are the minimum standards for the conservation of energy and energy efficiency in buildings in Nevada. Finally, the governing body of a local government that is authorized by law to adopt and enforce a building code is mandated to incorporate the standards adopted by the Director in its building code.

It has been brought to the attention of the Attorney General's Office that the· City of Las Vegas is now considering adopting exceptions to the IECC under Bill No.: 2013-24. The proposed ordinance appears to be in violation of NRS 701.220. Our office cannot support Bill No.: 2013-24 as the mandatory language in the statute requires the governing body of a local government to incorporate the standards adopted by the Director into its building code. Additionally, NRS 701 .220 provides for local governments to petition the Director for exemptions resulting from alterations, renovations or repairs to buildings originally constructed before 2009. Our office is charged with enforcing the laws of Nevada and until the law is changed, our office must support and enforce NRS 701.220.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact our office.

cc: Stacey Crowley, Director

Las Vegas City Council Members

 

Sincerely,

CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO

By:

HARRY B. WARD

Deputy Attorney General

Government and Natural Resources