In a move to enhance energy efficiency and building resilience, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced plans to allocate $90 million in grants to aid the implementation of stronger building energy codes for new and renovated structures. The DOE will distribute the grants to 27 projects across 26 states and the District of Columbia. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm announced the funding during a visit to a Louisiana Home Builders Association training facility on Wednesday.
The International Code Council will lead a project to develop a digitization roadmap to support small and under-resourced jurisdictions in their transition to digital code enforcement processes.
“This is an unprecedented investment toward supporting community efforts to cut energy bills and reduce climate impacts. Given the resource challenges so many departments face, this funding will have a real impact,” said International Code Council CEO Dominic Sims, CBO.
Building energy codes play a crucial role in mitigating the impact of adverse events and promoting community resilience. The adoption of modernized energy codes also provides significant savings for households, with an average reduction of $751 in utility bills. The country’s 130 million residential and commercial buildings contribute approximately 35 percent of national carbon emissions. The DOE estimates that updated codes from 2010 to 2040 will reduce carbon emissions by 900 million metric tons, equivalent to the annual emissions of 108 million homes. Effective implementation of adopted codes is equally critical. The DOE, across seven states studied, found that training code officials on their locally adopted codes keeps code compliance consistent, which can help reduce annual energy costs by an average of 45 percent.
The Code Council will be a project partner, delivering training and other services, on seven additional projects with the following organizations:
- Energy Futures Group (Hinesburg, Vermont) will develop an energy code administration program for the State of Vermont.
- Elevate Energy (Chicago) will develop a resource hub to support compliance with advanced energy codes and building policies such as decarbonization, benchmarking, and building performance standards in Illinois.
- Colorado Energy Office (Denver) will support energy code adoption, training, and technical assistance at the local level in the state.
- City of Fort Collins (Fort Collins, Colorado) will develop new stretch code language and provide implementation assistance and workforce training programs.
- ASHRAE (Peachtree Corners, Georgia) will develop and deploy education and training resources targeted to energy code officials in a nationwide, multi-year project.
- New Buildings Institute (Portland, Oregon) will support the development of highly efficient and resilient construction practices that address affordability and regional characteristics for the Southwest.
- Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (Atlanta) will deliver technical assistance, training, and workforce development strategies to stakeholders to implement Louisiana’s new energy code.
The Code Council worked closely with state and local governments and other industry stakeholders to help formulate the proposals and identify a suite of solutions that matched community needs with the funding opportunity. Learn more about additional federal grant opportunities and how the Code Council can help at iccsafe.org/federalgrants.
Source: International Code Council