- The U.S. Department of Energy is making $400 million in grant funding available for states and territories to adopt and implement new building energy codes.
- This initial tranche will support building energy codes that lower utility bills, boost efficiency, cut greenhouse gas emissions and make buildings more resilient to climate disasters, the DOE said in a Sept. 19 release.
- Only eight states currently have commercial building energy codes with the efficiency of the most recent national code standard, ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2019, according to DOE’s Building Energy Codes Program.
DOE said $240 million will be available to help states and territories adopt and implement the latest national model building energy code, such as Standard 90.1-2019 for commercial buildings or subsequent updates, or the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code for residential structures. An additional $160 million will be available to adopt and implement codes that contain the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code’s zero-energy provisions, which would require buildings to generate as much energy through renewable sources as they use every year.
The Energy Department will apportion one-third of funding equally across states, one-third based on state population and one-third based on expected energy savings from code improvements, which it will calculate per square foot for commercial buildings.
This funding will ensure that states and communities have the tools necessary to “lead the way in increasing the performance and the overall health of buildings through energy codes,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in the DOE’s release.
States that want to access and deploy the funds must opt in by sending a letter of intent to DOE by Nov. 21.
The department plans to release a complimentary competitive funding announcement in the coming months to support states and local governments looking to adopt more innovative code approaches, including building performance standards.
The funds are part of the Inflation Reduction Act’s $1 billion allocation for state and local governments to adopt and implement the latest building energy codes. Earlier this year, DOE awarded $90 million in competitive grants for implementing updated building energy codes. Recipients of those funds are building capacity for updating the codes across state and local governments, developing the workforce needed for clean energy and more.
The newest funding program aligns with President Joe Biden’s National Initiative to Advance Building Codes, which seeks to accelerate the adoption of modern building codes aimed at increasing resilience to extreme-weather events and save an estimated $1.6 billion a year in damages, DOE said.