The state Building Code Council usually doesn't get a lot of notice unless they get people upset.
The council did that last month when it narrowly defeated proposed building codes that would improve energy efficiency, voting to delay them until 2015.
The council decided on the five-year delay after home builders raised questions about how much the tighter energy standards would add to the cost of a new house.
Home builders said the additional costs could range from $10,000 to $20,000 a house, while a study from Appalachian State University put the additional cost at $2,400 for a $180,000 home.
Eleven environmental groups, including Environment North Carolina, the state Sierra Club, and the Conservation Council of North Carolina, sent Gov. Bev Perdue a letter last week asking her to intervene. The letter quoted Perdue's own promises in a letter the U.S. Energy Secretary last year, where she said the state would adopt a code for residential buildings that met or exceeded an international energy conservation code.
The council, which sets minimum building standards, is made up of governors' appointees.
The council decided today in another close vote, after much discussion about Robert's Rules of Order and many questions of its lawyer, to revive the issue and send it back to a committee,
Council chairman Dan Tingen didn't want the proposal brought back, but suggested another petition to accomplish the same goals could have been introduced at the council's December meeting. A council vote overturned his ruling.
Tingen said after the meeting that he had received a call from Perdue's office reminding him how interested she is in energy efficiency.