DOE Program Aims To Lower Utility Bills Via Efficient Building Codes

U.S. Department of Energy will provide $225 million for states, local governments to expand implementation of the latest building energy codes and support development of energy efficient buildings.

Energy consumption from buildings accounts for 35% of America’s carbon emissions. With that in mind, states and local governments are being encouraged to expand implementation of the latest building energy codes and support the development of buildings that use less energy via a new $225 million program announced by the U.S. Department of Energy last week.

The Building Energy Codes: Resilient and Efficient Codes Implementation Program will help expand building energy codes and lower electricity costs for families and businesses by as much as $138 billion over the next 30 years. It is one of several energy efficiency-focused programs funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Energy Efficient Building Codes
(Photo: Adobe Stock by alphaspirit)

The program supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s National Initiative to Advance Building Codes, launched last month by the National Climate Task Force to accelerate adoption of modern building codes to improve resiliency, create good-paying jobs, and lower energy bills.

“Raising the efficiency standard of America’s new buildings will rapidly save Americans money on their utility bills and strengthen the nation’s building stock against extreme weather events,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “This investment will slash carbon emissions, grow the clean energy workforce, and equitably deliver the benefits of modern buildings to our communities.”

Modern building energy codes are critical for states and local governments because they allow for significant improvements in building energy performance and set the criteria for buildings to become more durable, resilient, and better protected against extreme weather events. They work in concert with other code provisions, such as fire, mechanical, and plumbing, and establish minimum acceptable energy efficiency for residential and commercial buildings.

To ensure a sustained, cost-effective implementation of updated building energy codes, the Resilient and Efficient Codes Implementation Program will provide competitive grants to applicants who demonstrate through partnerships innovative approaches that allow states and local governments to further their broader energy, climate and resilience goals; expand opportunities for workforce development; ensure implementation and compliance; and advance equity, energy and environmental justice.

To prepare for the release of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), prospective applicants are encouraged to read the full Notice of Intent on EERE Exchange, which describes the intended FOA more fully, including more details about its motivation, how to prepare for its release, eligible entities and activities, and award instruments. DOE expects to issue the FOA in Fall 2022.

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