The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will distribute $90 million in awards to states and organizations to help implement updated energy codes in buildings. Officials say the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act funds the move and will support 27 projects across 26 states and Washington, D.C., to ensure buildings meet the latest standards in energy efficiency.
Energy codes establish minimum standards for energy efficiency in new and renovated buildings and help ensure they are healthier, safer and more resilient.
The selected projects include a focus on building performance standards for retrofits, the establishment of a National Energy Codes Collaborative, the creation of regional building performance standards to implement building energy efficiency programs in small and rural communities, and the development of a comprehensive plan to support the adoption, implementation and compliance of updated Stretch building energy codes.
“Cutting emissions from buildings across America and ensuring they’re more energy efficient are critical components of President Biden’s plan to tackle the climate crisis and create cleaner and healthier communities,” says U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “With unprecedented support from the Investing in America agenda, the [DOE] is providing new funding to help cities and states modernize their building codes—lowering energy costs for American families and businesses while improving public health.”
The funding is necessary to curb the release of excess carbon emissions from commercial and residential buildings. DOE officials say the country’s 130 million buildings are responsible for 35% of the nation’s total carbon emissions. They add that through 2040, building energy codes can save Americans an estimated $138 billion on utility bills and reduce 900 million metric tons of carbon emissions.
However, officials state that two out of every three U.S. communities have not adopted the latest building codes, mostly due to a lack of resources. The funds aim to curb these issues, providing states and local governments nationwide with funds to help implement modern construction standards.