Biden-Harris Administration Allocates $530 Million to Enhance Building Energy Efficiency and Resilience for Reduced Consumer Expenses

Investing in America: Latest and Zero Building Energy Codes

Investing in America: Latest and Zero Building Energy Codes

The Future of clean energy for Cities and Neighborhoods

Today, as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is excited to announce the availability of up to $530 million in competitive grants for technical assistance. These grants are aimed at promoting the adoption and implementation of the latest model energy codes, zero energy codes, building performance standards, and innovative codes that achieve equivalent energy savings. This initiative, known as the Latest and Zero Building Energy Codes program, is a key pillar of Bidenomics and is administered through the DOE’s Office of State and Community Energy Programs (SCEP).

This funding opportunity is made possible by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, which is the largest climate investment in history. The act includes $1 billion to modernize America’s building stock through state and local action on building codes. The goal is to save Americans money on their energy bills, while also making buildings more resilient to extreme weather events.

Shaping a clean energy Future

According to U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, shaping a clean energy future for cities and neighborhoods requires a whole system approach. This includes modernizing the building stock to use less energy and be more resilient in the face of increasing natural disasters. Thanks to President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, states and local governments are being supported in adopting and implementing proven solutions that will save consumers money, reduce climate pollution, and create well-paid, in-demand jobs for local community members.

The Impact of Energy Codes

Homes built to today’s energy codes are nearly 40% more efficient than homes built just 15 years ago. This dramatic improvement in energy efficiency significantly cuts energy costs for consumers. If all states updated to the latest model energy codes, it would save enough energy over 30 years to power all households in the United States for an entire year. Additionally, this switch would result in a reduction of almost 2 billion metric tons of CO2 emissions, which is equivalent to removing over 445 million gas-powered cars from the road during the same 30-year period.

Expanding Funding Opportunities

The Latest and Zero Building Energy Codes Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is open to states, territories, and units of local government that have the authority to adopt building codes. This new competitive funding opportunity expands the pool of eligible grantees to include certain localities and offers flexibility in response to different jurisdictional circumstances. It allows eligible grantees to pursue a pathway that fits their state and local context. The FOA provides federal guidance on qualifying activities in adopting and implementing various categories of building energy codes, including the latest model energy codes, zero energy codes, custom codes, and innovative code approaches.

Creating a Skilled Workforce

States and localities can use this funding to develop a workforce with skills in the latest building technologies. This includes training on proper installation and operation to deliver affordable and healthy buildings. It presents an opportunity to create local, place-based jobs, involving the community in improving their own homes, community centers, and offices.

An Inclusive Approach

This funding opportunity also supports the creation of more inclusive programs that align with President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative. It ensures that nonprofits, industry leaders, and states are prepared to deliver energy efficiency projects necessary to decarbonize buildings. Additionally, it aims to create inclusive workforce training initiatives.

Important Dates and Information

Eligible states, territories, or units of local governments can submit brief concept papers, which are required to submit a full application. The deadline for concept papers is February 9, 2024. Full applications are due by April 30, 2024.

States and territories pursuing the previously released formula funding opportunity have until January 31, 2024, to submit their letter of intent (LOI) to reserve formula funding. Those who have already submitted their LOI can now begin the full application process.

For more information, please visit the IRA-funded Technical Assistance for Building Energy Codes program webpage.

Read More of this Story at – 2023-12-18 19:17:14

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