Olympia– Legislation passed today by the Senate would accelerate the state’s efforts to reduce carbon and pollution from residential and commercial buildings.

“Residential and commercial buildings are the second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Washington and account for 27% of statewide emissions,” said Sen. Joe Nguyen (D-West Seattle). “This legislation provides an accessible, incentive-based program to reduce the energy buildings use, and in turn bring down statewide emissions.”

Senate Bill 5722 would overhaul energy standards for commercial buildings larger than 50,000 square feet and would direct the Department of Commerce to adopt state energy management and benchmarking standards for all buildings between 20,000 and 50,000 square feet and for multifamily residential buildings larger than 20,000 square feet.

“Washington is a leader in climate action, but we’re not leading fast enough,” said Nguyen. “We need to be a lot bolder, and we need to address the environmental injustice past actions have inflicted on our communities. The cost of carbon-emitting buildings going unchecked drastically outweighs the benefits of protecting the planet for our children and the future of our communities.”

Senate Bill 5722 builds on the 2019 Clean Buildings Act, which established energy performance standards for buildings.

Nguyen’s governor-request legislation now moves to the House for consideration. The 2022 legislative session is scheduled to adjourn on March 10.