Issues & AdvocacyState
Emerging Opportunities: Energy Efficiency Retrofits
Against the fading background of July 4th fireworks, four recent developments deserve a stronger spotlight for helping to create architecture jobs.
The Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge announced on June 26th another estimated $300 million in forthcoming energy efficiency investments by private institutions. The DOE also announced on June 28th a separate federal investment of $7.9 million to assist 13 states in developing whole-building energy retrofit programs for public facilities. Among the full list of opportunities for architects, another $1 million will support policies and programs that encourage future investments in energy efficiency.
Meanwhile, the Treasury Department’s regulatory tax guidance on Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds positioned state and local governments to better access $2.5 billion in unused low-cost financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs.
Amidst these developments, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on energy efficiency financing. During the hearing, Sonoma County highlighted its Property Assessed Clean Energy financing program. The CEO of the New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation testified on successful strategies that do not require new federal funding or policies, as well as those that do. The Real Estate Roundtable, whose members own and develop some of the largest and most valuable buildings in the U.S., also recommended some regulatory policies that Congress could enact right away to increase retrofit projects and improve the real estate markets’ economic health.
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