Council eyes remodel rules

Chico City Council revisiting ordinance requiring energy-conservation upgrades for substantial home remodels

The Chico City Council will reconsider an ordinance that was shot down two years ago. It proposes that homeowners choosing to renovate 50 percent or more of their home must pay for energy-conservation upgrades, including attic insulation, air and duct sealing, water heater upgrades, LED lighting and a “cool” roof with solar reflectance.

The panel voted 5-2, with Councilmembers Kasey Reynolds and Sean Morgan against, to review an updated version of the ordinance at a future meeting. Mark Stemen (pictured), chairman of the city’s Climate Action Commission, said the city previously performed a cost-benefit analysis determining that the ordinance is cost-effective. The upgrades “will pay for themselves in seven years for homes built before 1978 and 14 years for homes built after 1978.”