ASHRAE, along with seven partnering organizations, has announced that it has been awarded a $2.85 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy Building Technologies Office for Resilient and Efficient Codes Implementation (RECI). RECI is a product of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which provides an opportunity to advance the efficiency and resilience of buildings through successfully implementing updated energy codes in states and local jurisdictions throughout the United States.
The program invests $225 million over five years, encompassing fiscal years (FYs) 2022 through 2026, to “enable sustained cost-effective implementation of updated building energy codes.”
The award will fund the “Energy Code Official – Training & Education Collaborative” (ECO-TEC), a project led by national model code organizations, ASHRAE and the International Code Council (ICC), with vital support from the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and agencies from the states of Oregon, Michigan, New Jersey, and West Virginia.
The ECO-TEC will increase energy code enforcement activities through a multi-module training targeted to building energy code officials (ECOs). An important component of the project will include connecting with disadvantaged and rural communities through new communication channels to expand the workforce and providing career opportunities to those populations through training stipends.
The impacts from the project are expected to save the four state partners approximately $18.5 million over the course of the project. This impact reflects the difference between “Standard” and “Improved” compliance and assumes that the partner states adopt the latest model energy codes. The potential savings for 48 states (minus California and Washington) with “Improved” to “Aggressive Compliance” using their current codes range between $12 to $41 million in year one and $149 to $335 million by year five. “Improved” to “Aggressive Compliance” would also prevent between 0.06 MMT (million metric tons) to 0.20 MMT of CO2 emissions in year one and 0.81 MMT to 1.77 MMT of CO2 in year five. Program effectiveness will be evaluated to ensure sustained compliance and impacts.