HBS Update with Simon Baker
20 Dec 2023
Our Commitment to Supporting Legislation that Helps Our Industry’s Contractors
The use of spray foam has increased significantly over the past several years as consumers look for ways to save on energy costs, building codes become more stringent and builders improve the efficiency within the homes they build. Notably, spray foam is still a relatively new innovation compared to the traditional insulation materials it competes against. While its superior air sealing attributes undoubtedly contribute to its demand, more will be required to level the competitive playing field for spray foam. Pro-industry legislation, at both the regional and national levels, is imperative to the success of the product and the contractors spraying it.
As a multi-national manufacturer of spray foam systems, we at Huntsman Building Solutions (HBS) believe we have a responsibility to support and oppose the various bills that crop up with the power to either enhance or hinder our contractors’ ability to conduct business. This year, we witnessed our efforts bear fruit. Our three major victories include:
- In North Carolina and Utah, HBS educated lawmakers on the benefits of unvented attics and the energy efficiency boost achieved from moving insulation to the roof deck and installing HVAC equipment and ductwork inside the conditioned space. In response, lawmakers introduced bills to amend their state’s energy codes to incentivize the use of unvented attics.
- In California, HBS supported SB 837, a bill requiring the California Energy Commission (CEC) to consider redefining “conditioned space” to include unvented attics. This bill was developed by Senator Archuleta after HBS identified a flaw in California’s energy code which improperly models the energy performance of unvented attics. Now that Governor Newsom signed the bill into law, HBS will engage with the CEC to support the Commission during the development of the 2025 Building Energy Efficiency Standards.
- In Florida, homeowner insurance premiums are skyrocketing and insurance companies are leaving the state. When promoting the energy efficiency benefits of spray foam insulation in Florida, HBS emphasized resiliency as another benefit of spray foam. As a result, Senator Martin and Representative Griffiths expressed interest in helping homeowners protect their homes and reduce their insurance premiums. They then introduced SB 594 and HB 799, which added wind uplift prevention to an existing statute providing insurance premium reductions for homes with certain hurricane protections. With Governor DeSantis signing the bill into law, homes with spray foam insulation on the roof deck will see lower insurance premiums in Florida.
Our work doesn’t stop here though. January will be the start of another legislative season and, when it comes to supporting policy, Huntsman Building Solutions will put its focus and support into four specific areas:
- Building code updates that encourage greater insulation and air sealing in both residential and commercial properties
- Bills that encourage home and building owners to upgrade their insulation
- Legislation that incentivizes energy saving via unvented attics
- Smart policy that encourages building for resiliency
All of these areas share two things in common. First, they protect building owners and are good for the economy and the environment. Second, spray foam plays a key role.
While the Huntsman Building Solutions team remains committed to backing these efforts, and to protecting contractors from anti-spray foam bills, it’s important that everyone in the industry know we are stronger together. We can accomplish much more as a collective. The voice of the contractor is especially important to moving the needle on legislations that benefit our industry. Remember, America is built on small business, and spray foam contractors are exactly that. Legislators actually want to hear how their constituents and their businesses and customers will be impacted, for better or worse, by certain bills passing. Thus, contractors have real power when they pool their voices together and share their viewpoints with lawmakers.
If you’re a contractor, an easy way to get involved is to join Spray Foam Champions. The goal of this HBS program is to help contractors advocate for spray foam so it is the preferred choice among customers and that, in turn, spray foam contractor businesses grow and thrive. Joining is simple. Visit https://bit.ly/Be_A_Spray_Foam_Champion to get started.
Huntsman Building Solutions will continue to fight for us all but we invite and encourage everyone with a stake in this incredible industry to join us and help make a difference.