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Biden Administration Announces Accelerated Building Efficiency Efforts

  May 19, 2021

By Greg Zimmerman

This week, the Biden Administration announced several initiatives and funding to support them to accelerate the rate of building energy efficiency efforts. Here are three important parts of the announcement: 

  1. The Department of Energy (DOE) is investing $30 million in jobs training programs to build, retrofit, and electrofit buildings with high efficiency. The money will be used to support unions, trade organizations, and educational institutions, funding workforce development and job creation.
  2. The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), headed by Gina McCarthy, the former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator, will also be launching new building performance standards for federal buildings. The initiative will be launched in conjunction with the General Services Administration (GSA), DOE, and EPA. The new standards will establish metrics, targets, and tracking methods to reach federal carbon emissions goals. 
  3. Through the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Initiative, the Biden Administration is also launching a Low-Carbon Buildings pilot project of 55 commercial, industrial, and multifamily organizations. 

You can read the whole release with the full list of initiatives and funding here.

The moves were applauded by many in the industry, including the Alliance To Save Energy’s President Paula Glover, who said in a release: “It’s simple: it is impossible to reach the Biden administration’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 50 percent by 2030 without rapid decarbonization of the building sector, which accounts for 40 percent of U.S. emissions. The White House announced exactly the kind of action needed – but what really stands out is not just the recognition of the enormous challenge ahead, but the opportunity that energy efficiency investments present to create a more equitable, productive, and innovative energy future. Efficiency is a climate solution where emissions saved amounts to money saved for families, businesses, and taxpayers, and it’s also the largest employer in the clean energy economy. We’re looking forward to working with the administration and Congress in the coming weeks to prioritize energy efficiency as a primary tool to reduce carbon emissions and equitably jumpstart the economy.”   

This post was submitted by Greg Zimmerman, deputy editor, Building Operating Management and FacilitiesNet.com


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