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White House Debuts Programs to Make Federal Investments in Building Efficiency

  • White House announces several initiatives to modernize and upgrade residential and commercial buildings
  • Includes a $30 million investment in workforce development initiatives
  • Other components include new building performance standards, research efforts to improve heating and cooling systems, and pilot programs to support low-carbon buildings and heat pump installations

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

The White House has announced a set of programs and initiatives aiming to modernize and upgrade residential and commercial buildings in the United States to be more affordable and energy-efficient. The Biden administration says the efforts are part of its goal of improving American infrastructure and developing a clean energy economy.

Administration officials met with representatives of the building industry, public housing authorities, labor leaders, and heat pump manufacturers. The White House also cited a report from the Coalition for Green Capital and Rewiring America saying the Clean Energy Accelerator proposed in the American Rescue Plan could create 700,000 jobs, result in energy bill savings of up to $750 a year for nearly 12 million households, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 million metric tons a year by 2030.

The effort includes:

  • A $30 million investment in workforce development initiatives to support careers in the development and construction of high-performance buildings
  • The development of building performance standards for the federal government as well as new Energy Star standards
  • Expanding partnerships with state and local governments, including a low-carbon buildings pilot program and initiative to increase the adoption of efficient heat pump water heaters
  • The establishment of new Environmental Protection Agency programs and expansion of existing ones
  • A research initiative to develop more efficient heating and cooling systems
  • Efforts to better integrate buildings with solar and wind power through the smart operation of electricity demand and storage and to integrate grid-interactive technologies into the renovation of federal buildings

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