Written by Michelle McEuen Category POLICY

USGBC Texas Advocates for Sound Green Building Policies in the State

On Tuesday, February 24th, 2015 around 30 USGBC volunteer advocates from around the state converged on Austin to visit with legislators to advocate for green building policies in Texas.

Led by State Advocacy Chair David Matiella of the Central Texas-Balcones Chapter, the day started with a training and information session at the Mitte Carriage House, where we refined our approach. The afternoon was spent in groups at the Capitol visiting legislative offices. While there we explained our support for key pieces of legislation and offered ourselves as a resource on sustainable building and land development practices issues.

Our key message was that high performance building is integral to triple bottom line solutions that strike a balance between environmental, social and economic prosperity.



Energy Conservation – Low-cost, sustainable financing for residential energy efficiency loans; Bills not yet filed.

  • WHEEL – Warehouse of Energy Efficient Loans: Public/private partnership that allows private capital to support public agencies to purchase and aggregate energy efficiency loans.
  • PACE: Allows homeowners to afford water and energy conservation upgrades via property assessments.

Local Materials – Use of American-made iron and steel for state construction contracts – HB 1007, Davis

Graywater use –

  • HB 1902, Howard – Relating to the regulation and use of graywater.
  • HB 1192, Isaac – Relating to permissible uses of graywater for domestic use.



Energy Conservation – slowing the adoption of energy codes – HB 1736, Villalba

We continue to actively support the state’s water conservation initiatives passed in 2013, as well as PACE for commercial buildings:http://www.keepingpaceintexas.org/. We are helping promote PACE through our Texas Green Building Marketplace http://texasgreenbuildingmarketplace.org/ and by writing letters to the County Commissioners involved in adopting PACE such as in Travis County.

Special thanks to everybody who joined our cause. We couldn’t have done it without a fantastic team and so many enthusiastic and knowledgeable USGBC advocates. It was clear that our many visits, armed with a focused agenda, was both timely and informative. Work will continue over the next couple of months, guided by our advocacy consultant Ken Flippin. Thanks too to Nucor for sponsoring the Day’s activities.

“As we prepare for our Advocacy work going forward, we are looking to our membership to help provide added expertise on our key issues and bills that we are supporting and need added work,” David said. Anyone wishing to join the Texas State Advocacy Committee or if you have experience in these particular areas: green residential code, graywater capture and reuse, please contact David at dmatiella@usgbc-centraltexas.org to see how you can help on critical issues right now.


Click here to view the 2015 Legislative Agenda.

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