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1) Press release (Apr 12) DOE Establishes Bipartisan Infrastructure Law's $225 Million for Improved Building Codes
DOE Seeks Public Input to Drive the Cost-effective Implementation of Building Energy Codes for Greater Efficiency, Resilience, and Cost Savings

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced a Request for Information (RFI) to collect feedback from stakeholders to inform the implementation of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s $225 million in funding for improved building codes. This funding will assist state agencies and partners improve the energy efficiency of America’s building stock through code upgrades that will ensure more efficient and resilient buildings. Reducing emissions from residential and commercial buildings is crucial to DOE’s strategy for achieving President Biden’s goal of a 100% clean electrical grid by 2035 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.  

“Slashing building emissions is an absolute ‘must-do’ on the path to beating the climate crisis” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “We're seeking public feedback on how to optimize every step of the building code adoption process, from education to implementation, to lower energy bills and create cleaner and healthier communities for every American.”

Modern building energy codes are critical to lowering energy bills for homes and businesses, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, enhancing long-term resilience, and collectively ensuring the health, safety, and long-term efficiency of buildings. Components of the program design include code education and training, compliance research, planning to support code implementation, addressing needs in rural vs. urban areas, and other efforts to significantly support state and local code implementation. Research suggests that modern building energy codes, combined with innovative approaches, such as stretch codes, building performance standards, and adjacent policies supporting advanced energy and climate goals, can yield upwards of $138 billion in energy cost savings and 900 million metric tons of avoided CO2emissions.

Section 40511 of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides additional funding to build on a long history of the U.S. DOE Building Energy Codes Program providing research and analysis, direct technical assistance, and competitive funding opportunities to support the development, adoption, and implementation of building energy codes at the national, state and local level. Building energy codes work in concert with other code provisions like fire, mechanical, and plumbing, and establish minimum acceptable energy efficiency standards for residential and commercial buildings.   

This funding will also support increased compliance with energy codes in the form of workforce development in advanced technologies, construction practices, and sustained building science. Building energy code compliance and enforcement is critical to ensuring that the energy efficiency, cost savings, health, and resilience benefits associated with updated codes reach consumers. Findings from a series of pilot residential energy code compliance field studies demonstrated that potential lost savings from non-compliance was high ($18 million annually) and targeted education and training programs are effective at improving compliance rates and thereby reducing energy, costs, and emissions.  

Thoughtful and informed public responses to this RFI will help DOE design programs to achieve the goals and priorities established under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. DOE especially encourages states, partnerships, alliances, and associations to respond, as specified under the Act, although all public responses will be heard and considered.  

The deadline to submit your response to this RFI is May 20, 2022, at 5 p.m. ET.
 
https://www.energy.gov/articles/doe-establishes-bipartisan-infrastructure-laws-225-million-improved-building-codes
 
2) RFI Apr 12 -- This Request for Information (RFI) is being issued by the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program, on behalf of the Office of Energy and Renewable Energy (EERE) Building Technologies Office (BTO). The intent of this RFI is to obtain public input regarding the solicitation process and structure of a potential DOE Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to fund sustained cost-effective implementation of building energy codes, in accordance with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. This RFI seeks input on:

· Energy Code Implementation Criteria and Requirements for Key Topic Areas
· Advanced Energy Codes and Building Resilience
· Methods to Support Sustained State Energy and Building Resilience Code Implementation
· Funding, Partnerships, Eligible Entities, and Evaluation Criteria
· Energy and Environmental Justice (EEJ) Priorities

This effort also provides a historic opportunity to advance building energy codes for efficiency and resilience in states and local jurisdictions throughout the United States. As outlined in Section 40511. Cost-Effective Codes Implementation for Efficiency and Resilience, $225 million has been appropriated over the next five (5) years, encompassing fiscal years (FYs) 2022 through 2026, to be made available to an eligible entity (i.e., relevant state agency) - or an organizational partnership including an eligible entity - through a competitive bid process. The overall goal is to provide support to States that will “enable sustained cost-effective implementation of updated building energy codes.” This RFI seeks to gather input from all stakeholders on the characteristics of that potential Resilient and Efficient Codes Implementation (RECI) FOA.  

The BIL energy code provision will help provide critical technical and financial resources to states and their partners to support sustained energy and other building code adoption and implementation. The positive impacts from the advancement and effective implementation of energy codes and building energy policies at the state and local level cannot be overstated. Model energy codes are projected to deliver $138 billion energy cost savings, 900 MMT of avoided CO2 emissions and 13.5 quads of energy in cumulative benefits to residents across the country from 2010 to 2040. Funding provided through a potential Resilient and Efficient Codes Implementation FOA will help ensure the known benefits of building codes, including energy and resilience provisions can become a reality across the United States, while supporting sustainable building energy policies over time.       

Based on this clear direction from the BIL, DOE plans to make a significant investment in technical assistance activities with the potential to maximize energy, emissions, and cost saving opportunities through the advancement and effective implementation of energy codes and related building energy policies in states and localities throughout the United States. This financial investment will be administered through a potential FOA. DOE’s current thinking on how to develop and administer this potential RECI FOA is included in this section for which DOE is seeking comment.

To achieve the intent of section 40511, DOE intends to organize a potential Resilient and Efficient Codes Implementation FOA in six distinct topic areas: 1) adoption, 2) workforce development, 3) implementation and compliance, 4) innovative approaches, 5) energy equity, and 6) partnerships.   

Information collected from this RFI will be used by DOE for planning purposes to develop a potential FOA. The information collected will not be published.

This RFI is not a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA); therefore, EERE is not accepting applications at this time. EERE may issue a FOA in the future based on or related to the content and responses to this RFI; however, EERE may also elect not to issue a FOA. There is no guarantee that a FOA will be issued as a result of this RFI. Responding to this RFI does not provide any advantage or disadvantage to potential applicants if EERE chooses to issue a FOA regarding the subject matter. Final details, including the anticipated award size, quantity, and timing of EERE funded awards, will be subject to Congressional appropriations and direction.

Responses to this RFI must be submitted electronically to RECI_RFI@hq.doe.gov no later than 5:00pm (ET) on May 20th, 2022.

DE-FOA-0002755: BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE LAW (BIL) - REQUEST FOR INFORMATION ON RESILIENT AND EFFICIENT CODES IMPLEMENTATIONS https://eere-exchange.energy.gov/Default.aspx#FoaId71c06a58-8061-47cd-976f-695050d9ba24
RFI: https://eere-exchange.energy.gov/FileContent.aspx?FileID=619e16a1-4071-4932-a6d1-20395c32ff5e

FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-08247  

3) RFI Public Workshop
The DOE Building Energy Codes Program will host a public workshop on the recently released RFI. The intent of this workshop is to complement the RFI and gather additional feedback from the general public on how DOE can most effectively administer funding appropriated through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. More information on the workshop will be announced in the coming days.

DATE AND TIME
Date: Wednesday, April 27, 2022
Time: 1:00 – 5:00 pm EDT

https://www.energycodes.gov/RECI-codes-workshop

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