Editors Note – The City will be passing mandatory Energy Scoring on all residential sellers tomorrow night. We continue to look at City Hall for environmental leadership on the Industrial front. The facts are that the people of Hillsboro use a fraction of the energy that our Industrial firms do. As residents are monitored and required to comply, tax giveaways in Millions of dollars will be given to these industrial users, including Data Centers, which Elon Musk recently indicated would warm the atmosphere by 2 degrees. Read our stories Plans To Pass Mandatory Energy Scores Speaks Volumes Of Cities Duality and Elon Musks Move Against BitCoin Supports Heralds Assertion About Data Centers. We are looking for leadership.
Tomorrow night the City Council is planning to pass the mandatory Residential Energy Performance Rating program that they have been mulling over recently. Despite a slim majority of residents who provided input being against the scoring system, the Council will be approving this program (based on information the Herald has received). The scoring system is being modeled after the City of Portland and the Energy Trust of Oregon (City staff asked us to revise: The scoring methodology and state Home Energy Score program was developed by the Oregon Department of Energy. Hillsboro’s HES program is modeled after ODOE’s program and other cities in Oregon). Homeowners wishing to sell must complete an energy audit and provide that score to the buyers. The buyers are then supposed to internalize and evaluate that score in their buying decision.
The Score is going to be influenced by the age of the home, the windows, insulation, heat source, and a number of other factors. The program has many goals but one of them is to get people off of Natural Gas and Oil based upon the information sent to us by program officials (at the regional level), yet that is never stated openly. The move to an all-electric world is the goal of this program and others like it and to reduce carbon emissions. A noble aspiration, no doubt.
An online survey was the main tool used for the people of Hillsboro to interact with the City. Here is the result of the survey.
Pretty balanced input overall.
What does this mean for Hillsboro residents?
- Program costs
- Implementation steps
- Positive / Negative influences on Home Values
- Fines and Enforcement actions for those who do not comply
- Goals of increasing home energy efficiency and reduction of carbon output
- The Program is for homeowners only – will NOT BE IMPLEMENTED on rental properties
- See the Cities Staff report here
The Herald has reached out to the City for answers to some specific questions which include:
- Who in the City is going to manage the program.
- How many staff people will be dedicated to it and what is the budget for the program?
- Who will institute fines on behalf of the City against those who do not comply?
- Is there a financial impact statement or budget report on this matter?
The response was as follows:
Existing staff in CMO will manage it (small portions of two staff). We will sample listings and send letters to those that do not include the score. If citations are ever issued, they will be issued by Code Enforcement. We do not expect to issue many given the experience of other cities with policies. The only cost beyond staff time will be education and outreach, which we estimate to be less than $2,000 total for program start and year 1. Thereafter costs will be minimal.
For those not complying this is the fine that will be leveled.
6.44.070 Enforcement and Penalties.
1. It is a violation of this subchapter for any person to fail to comply with the
requirements of this subchapter or to misrepresent any material fact in a document
required to be prepared or disclosed by this subchapter.
2. A violation of this subchapter is subject to a penalty of up to $500. For every
subsequent 90-day period during which the violation continues a separate penalty of
up to $500 may be imposed.
3. Prior to issuing a citation for a violation of this subchapter, the Manager shall issue a
written warning notice to the person responsible for the violation, describing the
violation and steps required to come into compliance. The notice required by this
subsection shall provide 15 days to reach compliance before a citation is issued.
There appears to be little doubt that City Council will pass this. As always we urge you to get involved and be active in your City government. You can watch the City Council meeting here: 6/15/2021
|You can watch City Council meetings live through TVCTV, Tualatin Valley Community Television Cable, Access Channel 28. A live stream of the broadcast is also available on the TVCTV webpage. If you wish to provide public comment, please register with the City Recorder’s Office and join the meeting using the Zoom details below. For help with Zoom, read the Instructions for Joining and Participating in a Webinar or see Zoom’s Frequently Asked Questions.|
Phone: 1-253-215-8782 or 1-301-715-8592
Meeting ID: 818 4355 0514
ALSO AT THE COUNCIL MEETING:
The City of Hillsboro is also raising Garbage Rates – this comes on the heels of Water and Sewer rates going up this past Fall.
The increase for the most common residential service, a 35-gallon roll cart, is proposed at $1.91 per
month or 7.3%. Examples of increases to commercial container service are 1.74% for a 1-yard
container, 3.37% for a 4-yard container, and 3.87% for a 6-yard container collection twice
weekly. The effective date for new rates would be August 1, 2021.
- Budget of $850,575,954 being adopted – We are near a billion! Have a look here