FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — An Arizona proposal to prohibit local government mandates for energy-efficiency standards or green-energy use in new buildings is stirring debate.
State Sen. Chester Crandell, R-Heber, said his bill is an attempt to hold down construction costs and let builders choose what features to include in new construction.
Some astronomers say the bill could hamper efforts to protect dark skies if it is read as barring local governments from requiring low-intensity outside lighting.
"In fairness, lighting isn't mentioned, but all it would take is for some person to argue light is energy, and that isn't a real stretch of physics," Lowell Observatory Director Jeff Hall said.
Meanwhile, some city and county officials oppose the bill on grounds that it would crimp local control, the Arizona Daily Sun reported (http://bit.ly/1dL1L7M).
Crandell said the problem he's trying to address is that cities and counties adopt international energy codes that drive up the cost of a home under the assumption that the energy savings will pay for themselves in the long run.