by Scott T. Axon, Nixa

Thank you for launching and publishing the Springfield Daily Citizen. Our citizens need to be informed about local issues to be better voters. I am now more aware of decisions the Springfield City Council faces and local school board elections than ever before. That better knowledge of our community is largely because of your publication.

However, I would like to propose a more balanced approach to reporting. I believe that would enhance your readership and thereby positively impact our community. Case in point is the Rance Burger article Energy Code Updates Are Afoot in Springfield, Greene County. It would be nice to have both sides of that story presented equally so readers (citizens) could make their own decision as to whether to support the proposal. The Missouri Sierra Club was given a prominent amount of space and focus in the article, listed first in the section titled, Several groups support code adoption.

There was very little said about why this proposal would hurt Springfield and should not be adopted. According to the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information, the incremental cost of building to the 2018 IECC, relative to the 2015 IECC, ranges from $398 to $1,071 depending on the climate zone. Not published is the incremental cost of building to the 2018 IECC when compared to our current 2012 standards. But estimates of upgrading to the 2018 standards from the 2012 standards are between twice and three times the cost increase of moving from the 2015 to 2018 standards.

Housing (and commercial building) costs are already too high are hurting our citizens, especially people at the lower end of the economic spectrum. Adding significantly to the cost of building a home will make the current home buyer’s challenge worse. It will make it so builders will be less incentivized to build low-income housing. Increased housing prices will hurt all income groups whose dream is homeownership. Building codes are supposed to keep us safe and promote a more pleasant Springfield, not to promote a climate agenda. A builder who believes the citizens want a 2018-compliant home is always free to build it that way. In the same way, commercial builders are free to build LEED-compliant buildings. But it may not be government’s role to dictate the climate decisions a builder makes.

I am not suggesting leaving out far-left voices (like the Sierra Club) from your articles, but simply proposing a more balanced approach, presenting both sides of the story. Rance’s article was advocacy presented as news. This new proposal will hurt Springfield citizens significantly more than it will help the climate. Inflation is more caused by government decisions than a Russian dictator’s aggression. This is the type of over-aggressive regulation that is hurting Springfield residents.

Thank you for making us aware of this issue coming before the City Council. We are all better citizens because of your work.


Energy code updates are afoot in Springfield, Greene County

Environmental group cites savings to consumers and reduced energy consumption; Contractors Association also support change

It’s 2022, and Springfield and Greene County are about to update some of their building codes for 2018. A change to 2018 energy codes is expected to change some rules to insulation, ventilation, light fixtures and other elements of construction related to energy use.