Frank Coffman: City should suspend SmartRegs

I heartily concur with your Editorial Advisory Board‘s critical comments about the burdensome, costly “SmartRegs.” They aren‘t smart. It makes no environmental sense to replace and throw out non-defective furnaces, toilets, windows, refrigerators and other appliances — in the name of energy efficiency. This is wasteful. The energy to produce unneeded replacements will use more energy than will be saved.

In our case, an historic house on Spruce Street, a city inspector charged $650 for a 10-minute inspection, during which he spent most of his time filling out paperwork, not inspecting. Then, he announced that the house had failed with a rating of 70. He said we need to replace the furnace (which is working fine) and replace the windows, which would cost thousands of dollars. He didn‘t check on the house‘s energy use. He didn‘t look at our energy bills. He didn‘t search for drafty windows or doors. Some “inspection.” So much for his concern about energy efficiency.

What right do city bureaucrats have to impose these expensive regulations? Boulder officials don‘t seem to care that costs will be passed on to renters and that some renters will lose their homes. Boulder‘s overzealous regulators think they have the right to issue intrusive orders (backed up by severe threats), regardless of property rights or the effect on rents. This regulatory overreach will drive up rents, which are already high in Boulder. It won‘t help the environment. Global warming won‘t be lessened by using energy and resources to manufacture unnecessary new appliances and fixtures.

These misnamed “SmartRegs” should be suspended or amended. Otherwise, property owners should sue the city to stop this violation of their property rights. City officials who don‘t respect property rights should be removed from office.

Frank Coffman

Boulder