Access to federal funding
States and local jurisdictions have many opportunities to access funding made available by the U.S. federal government to improve building energy performance through energy codes. The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) State Energy Program (SEP) provides funding to states via annual appropriations from Congress, as well as special SEP projects funded by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) of 2009 provided the SEP with additional resources. The EERE received $16.8 billion, $3.1 billion of which was allotted to the SEP. Funding received for energy codes through the Recovery Act requires states to develop a plan for achieving compliance with the national model building energy codes – the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (2009 IECC) and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007 – in at least 90 percent of new and renovated residential and commercial building space within eight years of the law’s enactment (by 2017). While the Recovery Act SEP funding represents an unprecedented level of federal support for energy code implementation, the requirements call for an extraordinary level of commitment and planning from a variety of state and local public entities.
In addition to SEP funding, the Recovery Act extended tax incentives to assist builders and homeowners in meeting energy code standards for new buildings. The Energy Efficient New Homes Tax Credit awards up to $2,000 for new homes that reach certain energy efficiency requirements.
The Recovery Act also allotted $2.6 billion to the Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grants (EECBG) program, created by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act. Although the deadline for these funds was in December 2009, there is a possibility of more funding from future energy legislation.