The Department of Energy announced that the Biden administration will be investing $90 million in competitive awards to help states, cities, tribes, and partnering organizations implement updated energy codes for buildings through the Investing in America agenda.
According to the Department of Energy, America’s 130 million commercial and residential buildings are responsible for 35% of the nation’s total carbon emissions. Energy codes establish minimum standards for energy efficiency in new and renovated buildings and help ensure they are healthier, safer, and more resilient. Through 2040, building energy codes are estimated to save Americans $138 billion on their utility bills and reduce 900 million metric tons of CO2 emissions — an amount roughly equivalent to the combined annual emissions of 108 million homes.
To realize these immense cost-saving and public health benefits, it is critical that states and local governments update their building codes based on the latest technologies and construction practices and support their successful application. However, two out of every three communities in the U.S. have not adopted the latest building codes in part due to a lack of available resources to support their implementation. Today’s awards seek to address this challenge and help states and local governments across the country adopt and implement modern construction standards. This announcement builds on the Biden-Harris Administration’s National Initiative to Advance Building Codes, which supports energy and building codes and standards that save lives, reduce property damage, cut utility bills, and create good-paying jobs while advancing environmental and energy justice priorities.