Tucson Approves 2018 IECC; Arizona Rejects Renewable Power Initiative

In the fall, Tucson’s city council unanimously approved the 2018 IECC, making it one of only three Arizona communities to do so.

When Tucson passed the 2018 IECC, it also included Appendix T, which will make future installations of solar panels easier and less costly.

One week later, the Pima County board of supervisors also unanimously adopted the 2018 IECC. In this instance, the passage of the updated energy code was akin to phase 1. Their approval did not include Appendix T. However, the county does plan to start public hearings on whether the solar friendly provision should be implemented.

With the approvals, the City of Tucson and Pima County join Phoenix as the only three Arizona communities to adopt the 2018 IECC. Pima County, with a population of just over 1 million people,surrounds Tucson, which with more than 500,000 residents is Arizona’s second largest city. Together, they comprise the biggest urban area in southern Arizona.

Vote Against Renewable Sources of Power 

Voters were asked to approve Prop 127, a constitutional amendment that would have required 50% of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030. Unlike neighboring state Nevada, which passed such a measure on the same day, Arizonans voted 69% to 31% against this measure. That will leave the state’s existing renewable energy requirements (15% by 2025) in place.

This was a contentious and expensive ballot measure. The parent company for the state’s largest utility, Arizona Public Service (APS), donated over $10.5 million dollars between two different PACs to defeat Prop 127. Meanwhile, California billionaire Tom Steyer’s political group NextGen America spent over $8 million dollars in support of the measure. Washington Analysis, a research firm, predicted the measure would narrowly pass.

That did not turn out to be the case at all, but there might be some good news ahead. Arizona regulators are still considering a proposal to increase Arizona’s RPS to 80% by 2050 while allowing nuclear power to fall within the category of allowable power generation. APS generally supports that plan, as they want an RPS that couples nuclear with other carbon-free energy resources, similar to the 100% clean energy bill adopted in California.



Photo by desertdutchman