Building Energy Code Leaders Clarify Stimulus Funds Requirements

12/04/2009 |

Building Energy Code Leaders Clarify Stimulus Funds Requirements
Several of the nation’s leading organizations noted for their broad leadership role in national energy efficiency policy have developed an explanatory statement for state and local governments to clarify the intent of Section 410 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and to offer assistance as states and localities adopt, provide training on, and enforce advanced building energy efficiency codes.

The organizations that were involved in the creation of this statement include Alliance to Save Energy, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, the American Institute of Architects, ASHRAE, Building Codes Assistance Project, Building Energy Efficient Codes Network, International Code Council, National Association of State Energy Officials, Natural Resources Defense Council, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, and the U.S. Green Building Council.

Their clarification states that by accepting State Energy Program funding and submitting letters assuring the Department of Energy that their states would comply with the terms of Section 410, all 50 states have committed to doing three things:
  1. Adopt a residential building energy code that meets or exceeds the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).
  2. Adopt a commercial building energy code that meets or exceeds ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007.
  3. Develop and implement a plan, including active training and enforcement provisions, to achieve 90 percent compliance with the target codes by 2017, including measuring current compliance each year.
Few states have adopted the codes that “meet or exceed” the target codes (let alone, comply with). Most have a long way to go before the February 2010 anniversary of ARRA, which marks the Act’s first compliance deadline for states.

In addition to revenue from building inspection fees, funding for enforcement and training is available from federal grants, such as the State Energy Program (SEP) and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG), and from existing state and federal energy efficiency funds. In addition, the organizations issuing this statement are working together closely to boost new building code-related funding in the pending climate and energy legislation before Congress.

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