City of Burlington: An Ordinance in Relation to: Chapter 18 Housing | Ordinance Changes | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice
CITY OF BURLINGTON In the Year Two Thousand Twenty-One: An Ordinance in Relation to Chapter 18 Housing - Change re Energy Efficiency and Weatherization in Rental Housing


ORDINANCE 5.07

Sponsor: Ordinance Committee, Department of Permitting and Inspections

Public Hearing Dates:

First reading: 03/08/21

Referred to: Ordinance Committee

Rules suspended and placed in all stages of passage:

Second reading: 5/10/21

Action: adopted

Date: 05/10/21

Signed by Mayor: 05/20/21

Published: 05/26/21

Effective: 06/16/21

It is hereby Ordained by the City Council of the City of Burlington as follows:

That Chapter 18, Housing, Article I, In General, Article III, Minimum Standards, and Article VII. Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards Ordinance, of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Burlington be and hereby is amended to read as follows:

Chapter 18. Housing

ARTICLE I. IN GENERAL

18-1. As Written.

18-2. Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words, and their derivations, shall have the meanings given herein:

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Attic shall mean the volume, if any, between the roof and the ceiling over the interior finished space nearest the roof.

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Box sills shall mean the cavity created by the floor joists resting on the foundation, and the outer band joist.

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Heated space shall mean any living space within the exterior boundaries defining the building into which heat is intentionally introduced during the heating season.

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Program administrator shall mean the Director of Permitting and Inspection or their designee.

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Roof shall mean the surface on the top of a building which separates the building from the outdoors.

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18-3–18-14. As Written.

ARTICLE II. ADMINISTRATION AND ENFORCEMENT

18-15–18-69. As Written.

ARTICLE III. MINIMUM STANDARDS1

18-70 As Written.

18-71 Foundation, exterior walls and roofs.

(a) – (c) As Written.

(d) – Cross reference Section 18-131.

18-72 As Written.

18-73 Windows and exterior doors.

(a) – (e) As Written.

(f) – Cross reference Section 18-131.

18-74 – 18-85 As Written.

18-86 Heating.

(a) – (c) As Written.

(d) – Cross reference Section 18-131.

18-87 – 18-120 As Written.

18-121–18-199 Reserved.

18-121 – 18-129 Reserved.

DIVISION 6. MINIMUM ENERGY EFFICIENCY STANDARDS

18-130 Applicability of minimum energy efficiency standards.

(a) Applicability. This Division shall apply to residential rental properties that on an annual basis use 90,000 British thermal units (BTUs) or more per conditioned square foot for space heating purposes, according to the following schedule:

(1) Applicable to residential rental properties that on an annual basis use 90,000 BTUs or more per conditioned square foot for space heating purposes as of January 1, 2022.

(b) Exceptions. This Division shall apply to rental properties described in Section 18-130(a), but excluding:

(1) Rental properties that on an annual basis use less than 90,000 British thermal units (BTUs) per conditioned square foot for space heating purposes;

(2) In mixed commercial/residential rental buildings this article shall apply only to the residential rental portion of the building;

(3) Seasonal rental properties not rented between November 1 and March 31 of each year;

(4) Rental properties that have previously and successfully participated in any weatherization incentive programs provided by local utility, state, or federal entities, as approved by the program administrator within the last ten (10) years; and

(5) Rental properties which have the necessary valid permits to be demolished or converted to a nonresidential use.

(c) Temporary Waivers. The program administrator may grant a temporary waiver for requirements under this Division for up to one (1) year if: 1) the owner of a rental property cannot obtain financing for energy improvements required under this article and can document that good faith efforts to obtain financing from three different financial institutions have been unsuccessful; 2) the owner of a rental property cannot obtain a Professional Building Weatherization Contractor to perform the work required under this article and can document good faith attempts to procure such Contractor; or 3) if the owner of a rental property can document that the owner is registered to receive financial support for weatherization through a utility incentive program or low income weatherization program.

18-131 Work related to meeting minimum energy efficiency standards.

(a) Professional Building Weatherization Contractor Required. Work required to comply with this Division shall be conducted by a professional building weatherization contractor–that is, a contractor that normally provides air sealing and insulation services.

(b) Cost Cap. The total costs for initial work related to meeting minimum energy efficiency standards described in Section 18-132 are not required to exceed two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) per rental unit (a "Cost Cap"). The total costs shall exclude amounts of any weatherization program incentives provided by local utility, state, or federal entities and approved by the program administrator and must be incurred by the rental property owner.

This two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) Cost Cap shall be annually adjusted by the program administrator equivalent to 100% of the annual change in the Consumer Price Index For All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) in the Northeast Region, to go into effect January 1 of every ensuing year. In no event shall the Cost Cap be less than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500). The program administrator shall maintain a record of the Consumer Price Indices used and shall provide public notice of this adjustment prior to the first day of December previous to the applicable January 1 and by posting a written notice of the adjusted cap in a prominent place in the office of the Burlington Electric Department, a prominent place in City Hall, and a prominent place in the office of the Department of Permitting and Inspections.

(d) Extensions. If the initial work meets the Cost Cap in Section 18-131(b) and the rental property still does not meet the minimum energy efficiency standards described in Section 18-132 or the rental property does not use less than 50,000 British thermal units (BTUs) per conditioned square foot for space heating purposes annually, the owner of a rental property may be granted an extension by the program administrator for up to three (3) years to meet the energy efficiency standards required in Section 18-132 if the owner of a rental property demonstrates that compliance under this Division creates an undue burden on the owner or current tenant. However, the property must be in compliance with standards by the expiration of the extension, regardless of the cost to achieve those standards.

18-132 Minimum energy efficiency standards.

Residential rental properties subject to Section 18-130, shall meet the following minimum energy efficiency standards:

(a) Insulation of exterior walls. All exterior walls enclosing an empty cavity that could be insulated, shall be filled with insulation per current Burlington Energy Efficiency Utility (EEU) and Vermont's Weatherization Assistance Program recommended technical upgrade specifications.

(b) Insulation of open attics/ceilings/roofs:

1. Insulation of open attics (an attic which is unfloored), insulation shall be added per current Burlington Energy Efficiency Utility (EEU) and Vermont's Weatherization Assistance Program recommended technical upgrade specifications.

2. The empty space under the flooring of an unheated floored attic shall be filled with insulation per current Burlington Energy Efficiency Utility (EEU) and Vermont's Weatherization Assistance Program recommended technical upgrade specifications.

3. Horizontal attic access panels shall be insulated per current Burlington Energy Efficiency Utility (EEU) and Vermont's Weatherization Assistance Program recommended technical upgrade specifications.

4. Vertical attic access panels shall be insulated per current Burlington Energy Efficiency Utility (EEU) and Vermont's Weatherization Assistance Program recommended technical upgrade specifications.

5. "Sloped roof cavities" (including "cathedral" ceilings) and knee walls shall be treated as exterior walls (see subsection (1) above).

(c) Insulation of other areas:

1. Box sills shall be insulated on either the inside or the outside of the band joist per current Burlington Energy Efficiency Utility (EEU) and Vermont's Weatherization Assistance Program recommended technical upgrade specifications.

2. Floors over basements, crawl spaces, outdoor spaces or spaces typically approximating outdoor temperatures during the heating season, shall be insulated per current Burlington Energy Efficiency Utility (EEU) and Vermont's Weatherization Assistance Program recommended technical upgrade specifications.

3. Electric water heaters shall be insulated per current Burlington Energy Efficiency Utility (EEU) and Vermont's Weatherization Assistance Program recommended technical upgrade specifications.

(d) Heating/cooling ducts and piping and domestic hot water piping:

1. All accessible space heating/cooling ducts in basements or crawl spaces with insulated ceilings, or in attics, shall be air sealed and insulated per current Burlington Energy Efficiency Utility (EEU) and Vermont's Weatherization Assistance Program recommended technical upgrade specifications.

2. All accessible space heating/cooling piping in basements or crawl spaces with insulated ceilings, or in attics, shall be insulated per current Burlington Energy Efficiency Utility (EEU) and Vermont's Weatherization Assistance Program recommended technical upgrade specifications.

3. All accessible domestic hot water piping which is part of a pumped circulating loop in basements or crawl spaces with insulated ceilings, or in attics, shall be insulated per current Burlington Energy Efficiency Utility (EEU) and Vermont's Weatherization Assistance Program recommended technical upgrade specifications.

4. All accessible domestic water piping (both hot and cold) within close distance from the tank shall be insulated per current Burlington Energy Efficiency Utility (EEU) and Vermont's Weatherization Assistance Program recommended technical upgrade specifications.

5. Operation of the heating or cooling air distribution system shall not induce a pressure differential between the conditioned space and the outdoors, as measured after any other energy improvements are completed per current Burlington Energy Efficiency Utility (EEU) and Vermont's Weatherization Assistance Program recommended technical upgrade specifications

(e) Windows and doors:

1. All windows in exterior walls shall be double-glazed or provided with storm windows during the heating season.

2. All operable windows in exterior walls shall have functioning latches which close windows tightly.

3. All doors and access hatches opening to the outdoors, or to spaces which typically approximate outdoor temperatures during the heating season, shall have functioning weatherstripping and latches which close doors tightly.

(f) Air leakage reduction:

1. Air leakage rate reduction work shall follow the current Burlington Energy Efficiency Utility (EEU) and Vermont's Weatherization Assistance Program recommended technical upgrade specifications.

2. In general, rental properties shall have an air leakage rate no greater than one thousand five hundred (1,500) cubic feet per minute at a pressure differential of fifty (50) pascals as tested with calibrated pressurization (or depressurization) air flow measurement equipment; or

3. A projected natural air leakage rate which is no greater than six-tenths (.6) average annual air changes per hour as calculated by accepted professional practice approved by the program administrator.

(g) Combustion appliances and equipment:

1. All fuel burning heating systems shall be biennially inspected and serviced by a certified technician certifying that the system is functioning and operating in a safe manner in compliance with the standards of this section, with proof of inspection stated on a tag issued by the Department of Permitting and Inspections and placed in a conspicuous place as defined by the Department of Permitting and Inspections.

2. All components of a heating system including any pumps, motors, and controls shall be in good operating condition.

3. The heating system shall be adequate to heat all living spaces as required and defined by the City of Burlington's minimum housing code.

18-134 – 18-199 Reserved.

ARTICLE IV. HOUSING DISCRIMINATION

18-200 – 18-104 As Written.

ARTICLE V. REGULATION OF CONVERSION OF RENTAL HOUSING TO CONDOMINIUMS OR COOPERATIVES

18-300 – 18-399 As Written.

ARTICLE VI. HOUSING TRUST FUND

18-400 – 18-499 As Written.

ARTICLE VII. MINIMUM ENERGY EFFICIENCY STANDARDS ORDINANCE

18-500 – 18-511. As written.

18-512 Repeal of Article VII.

Article VII is repealed as of December 31, 2021.

* Material stricken out deleted.

** Material underlined added.