DOE to Give State, Local Governments $225M to Expand Building Energy Efficiency

DOE Building Energy Efficiency

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by | Jul 26, 2022

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Building Energy Efficiency

(Credit: Pixabay)

The US Department of Energy has published a notice of intent to provide $225 million for state and local governments to expand energy efficiency in buildings.

The DOE is calling for the governments to increase the implementation of the latest building energy codes and support the development of buildings that use less energy. The funds are part of the infrastructure bill that was passed late last year, and the DOE says it could save businesses and communities up to $138 billion over the next 30 years.

The DOE says building codes are important because they allow for improvements in energy efficiency, and help buildings be more resilient as well as protected against extreme weather events. The program supports the National Initiative to Advance Building Codes, which was launched in June 2022 by the National Climate Task Force to accelerate the adoption of modern building codes to improve resiliency and lower energy costs.

Buildings have long been a key part of energy transition targets in the country. Commercial and government buildings alone in the US account for 35% of all electricity and 16% of carbon emissions in the country, according to the Energy Information Administration. The EPA says 30% of the energy used in commercial buildings is wasted.

That has cities like Denver and Las Vegas coming up with systems and regulations to tackle energy use and emissions from buildings. Another DOE initiative called Better Buildings is said to have saved $15.3 billion, and earlier this year the department set tougher standards for federal buildings.

The DOE isn’t alone in a request for state and local governments to use federal funds such as those from the infrastructure package for energy efficiency. Earlier this year 59 organizations sent a letter to 14 states asking them to use such funding to improve energy efficiency, including in buildings.

Other building efficiency plans include the Resilient and Efficient Codes Implementation Program will provide grants that show innovative approaches that allow states and local governments to expand their energy goals. The DOE’s Building Energy Codes Program also provides research, technical assistance, and funding to implement building codes.

The $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill was passed in November 2021 and includes $65 billion toward energy efficiency projects allocated by the DOE, including $120 million for industrial and manufacturing facilities. In late 2021, the EPA began to distribute billions of dollars to states to improve water infrastructure as a separate piece of that bill.

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