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US Energy: Biden-Harris Administration Launches $225 Million Program to Lower Utility Bills Through More Efficient Building Codes

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced a Notice of Intent (NOI) to provide $225 million for states and local governments to expand the implementation of the latest building energy codes and support the development of buildings that use less energy. Funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Building Energy Codes: Resilient and Efficient Codes Implementation Program will help to expand building energy codes through state and local implementation and lower electricity costs for families and businesses as much as $138 billion over the next 30 years. The program is one of several funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that will increase energy efficiency—both reducing energy use and lowering utility costs for American families. Today’s announcement supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s National Initiative to Advance Building Codes, launched in June 2022 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.”

Reducing energy consumption from buildings, which account for 35% of America’s carbon emissions, is a key component of reaching President Biden’s goal of a net-zero carbon economy by 2050. 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 and homes to become more durable, resilient, and better protected against extreme weather events. Building energy codes 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.

DOE’s Building Energy Codes Program builds on a long history of research and analysis, direct technical assistance, and competitive funding opportunities to support the development, adoption, and implementation of building energy codes at the national, state and local level. Together, these strategies help create buildings that will remain efficient, healthy, safe, comfortable, and resilient for decades into the future.

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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