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As President Biden is fond of saying, there are no Democratic roads or Republican bridges. And though the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed the House last Friday night with only a modicum of bipartisan support (13 Republicans voted for the bill), the bill includes billions of dollars in immediate investments in American roads, bridges, broadband internet, coastal resiliency, water infrastructure, public transit, and much more. President Biden, who is also fond of saying this bill represents a once in a lifetime investment in America, is expected to sign the bill into law in the next few days.
So what does this particular bill mean for facility managers? The new law includes $73 billion to modernize the electric grid and improve its capability for clean energy transmission. These are benefits which will surely filter down to facility managers in terms of power reliability and quality, as well as their ability to more easily incorporate renewable energy strategies in their buildings. The bill also includes $7.5 billion for electric vehicles and EV charging stations, but those will largely be public fixtures, not necessarily a benefit for private buildings. For a full list of the breakdown of spending in the infrastructure bill, check out this story in Axios.
Specific financial benefits for buildings and energy efficiency, though, are largely absent from this bill. Still, these may soon be on their way. In the byzantine procedural workings of the House, one of the deals reached to pass the infrastructure bill was also to later hold a vote on Biden’s Build Back Better bill, which includes much of the money geared at fighting climate change. And that includes some intriguing provisions for FMs, including tax credits and rebates for renewable energy, energy efficient building retrofits, and renewable fuels.
But this bill still has some hurdles to clear yet. So, stay tuned. Democrats have set a goal of getting the bill to Biden’s desk by Thanksgiving.
Greg Zimmerman is editor, Building Operating Management magazine and FacilitiesNet.com.