DOE signals intent to make building energy codes more efficient with $225M investment

Published on July 25, 2022 by Chris Galford

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Through a Notice of Intent (NOI) covering $225 million for state and local governments, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) last week moved to expand the implementation of the latest building energy codes and support more energy efficient buildings.

“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,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said. “This investment will slash carbon emissions, grow the clean energy workforce, and equitably deliver the benefits of modern buildings to our communities.”

Pulling from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this new Resilient and Efficient Codes Implementation program will help expand building energy codes at the local implementation level and could lower electricity costs for homes and businesses by as much as $138 billion over the next 30 years by DOE estimates. It could also significantly reduce emissions and help the nation go greener, given that energy consumption from buildings currently accounts for 35 percent of America’s carbon emissions. In this way, the program also serves a supporting role to the National Initiative to Advance Building Codes, first launched this June to speed the adoption of modern building codes.

The implementation program will offer competitive grants to applicants with partnerships focused on innovative approaches for state 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. This Funding Opportunity Announcement is still in the pipeline and likely will be until the fall. In the meantime, the DOE encouraged those interested to read the full Notice of Intent for more details on its motivation, upcoming release, eligibility requirements, and award instructions.