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NC Senate takes up energy conservation rollback

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

A bill rolling back energy-efficiency standards for commercial builders in North Carolina is headed to the Senate floor.

The Senate is scheduled to vote on a measure Wednesday that will repeal the 2012 codes and adopt 2009 standards, which are 30 percent lower than today's energy-use benchmarks. Backers of the bill say it will help boost construction and jobs by reducing the added expenses needed to comply with tougher standards.

Critics argue the bill would jeopardize long-term energy savings for limited gains and harm producers of efficient building materials. Legislative staff members say an Appalachian State University study shows more than twice the level of energy savings than added construction costs from the newer standards over 30 years.

The House already approved the bill.

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