$225M for energy-efficient building codes, $96M for EV charging, innovation in new DOE funding

Live Brief:

  • The Department of Energy Thursday launched funding initiatives to support updated building codes and electric vehicles, saying the efforts will help slash greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Using funding from the bipartisan infrastructure law, DOE plans to provide states and local governments $225 million in grants to implement building energy codes that support energy-efficient buildings, according to a “notice of intent.”

  • Separately, DOE is offering $96 million for research projects aimed at expanding EV charging accessibility, creating cleaner non-road vehicles and developing electric drive parts and materials to maximize EV efficiency and affordability, the department said in a funding opportunity announcement.

Live Insight:

“Raising the efficiency standard of America’s new buildings will rapidly save Americans money on their utility bills and strengthen the nation’s building stock against extreme weather events,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a statement.

DOE estimates its Building Codes Implementation for Efficiency and Resilience program could help lower electricity costs by up to $138 billion over the next 30 years.

Through the program, DOE will provide competitive grants to applicants who use partnerships to take innovative approaches that allow states and local governments to further their energy, climate and resilience goals; expand opportunities for employment development; and advance equity, energy and environmental justice, the department said.

DOE said the program supports the Biden administration’s National Initiative to Advance Building Codeslaunched in June by the National Climate Task Force to speed the adoption of updated building codes to improve resiliency, create good-paying jobs and lower energy bills.

Buildings account for 35% of US greenhouse gas emissions, and cutting those emissions is a key piece of the administration’s climate strategy, according to DOE.

The Energy Department intends to begin accepting applications for the funding late this year.

Meanwhile, DOE said the EV research funding will support a governmentwide approach to the climate crisis by driving innovation in the transportation sector, which is the leading source of US greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The funding is for research into “innovative solutions for on-road and off-road vehicles to develop and accelerate the charging infrastructure and drastically reduced GHG emissions,” DOE said.

DOE is accepting “concept papers” until Aug. 25, with full applications due by Nov. 10.

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