Last Tuesday was an active day for the USGBC Nevada chapter (USGBCNV) at the state capitol in Carson City. USGBCNV members Kelly Thomas, Louis Helton and myself, along with USGBC Legislative Director Bryan Howard, engaged our state legislators and elected officials to advance legislative solutions that would equip Nevada businesses with the opportunity to invigorate Nevada's building and construction economy, all while reducing operating expenses.
USGBCNV joined other members of the Nevada Sustainable Energy Coalition (NSEC) for lunch with state leaders, including Stacey Crowley, executive director of the Nevada State Office of Energy, and State Sen. Ruben J. Kihuen. The NSEC is a broad, nonpartisan coalition of businesses and organizations that represent the green building industry in Nevada. NSEC and USGBCNV delivered a clear message to our representatives: Encourage investment in businesses and support policies throughout the state that advance energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation, like AB33.
"By the end of the day, USGBCNV and NSEC had visited nearly every legislative office in the capitol, advancing the win-win proposition of job creation and utility saving through such measures as AB33," said Howard. "The coalition should be commended for such a proactive effort."USGBCNV sees AB33 as a twofold opportunity:
- As we continue to work toward revitalizing the economy in Southern Nevada, this legislation will put several industries back to work — from laborers to skilled trades. More broadly, investment in energy efficiency creates demand for efficient products, thus positively influencing additional industries, like distribution and manufacturing.
- A property tax abatement policy will help commercial property owners, still affected by the market downturn, take steps to make necessary investments in energy efficiency by providing the needed capital.
Our USGBC chapter and NSEC look forward to continuing to foster relationships with our elected leaders and the green building industry as we all work toward an energy diverse, energy efficient and sustainable future for Nevada.