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IRA Assistance for the Adoption of the Latest and Zero Building Energy Codes – Round 2

Open Date:

3/12/2024

Close Date:

9/13/2024

Eligible Recipients:

  • Local Governments
  • Native/Tribal Entities
  • State Governments
  • Territories

Program Purpose:

  • Energy Infrastructure
  • Environmental Clean-up

Reserved for Energy
Communities?

No

Upcoming Milestones:

Round 2 Concept Paper Submission Deadline: 5/31/2024 at 5:00 PM ET

Round 2 Full Application Submission Deadline: 9/13/2024 at 5:00 PM ET

Bureau/Office:

Office of State and Community Energy Programs (SCEP)

Funded by:

U.S. Department of Energy

Overview

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) provides up to $1 billion for States and units of local government with the authority to adopt building energy codes to adopt and implement the latest building energy codes, zero energy building codes, or equivalent codes or standards. An energy code is one of several types of building codes that help contribute to the overall health, safety, efficiency, and long-term resilience of buildings. Energy codes can be adopted directly as a standalone code, such as the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), which is commonly adopted by States and local governments. Moreover, energy codes are also fundamental components of certain more broadly adopted building codes, including the International Building Code (IBC) and International Residential Code (IRC), which are referenced in the United States as “parental” codes. Energy codes are often described as a subset of these broader building codes, representing distinct chapters of the IBC and IRC alongside other commonly recognized provisions, such as those pertaining to structural, plumbing, or electrical requirements, and other basic aspects of building design and construction. Adoption and implementation of such codes supports the decarbonization of new and existing residential and commercial buildings.

This opportunity assists eligible entities in further decarbonizing their buildings through the adoption of the latest national model building energy codes, zero energy codes, other codes that deliver equivalent or greater energy savings, including innovative approaches to decarbonize existing buildings through certain measurable and enforceable requirements. The IRA is unprecedented in its opportunity to support sustainable change at the State and local level with respect to advancing the energy efficiency of new, renovated, and existing buildings. DOE is particularly interested in supporting States and local governments in implementing local capacity building, multi-year investments in workforce and education, and long-term improvements in building energy codes through multi-cycle adoption and building performance standards (BPS).

Building energy codes establish minimum levels of energy efficiency for new and existing residential and commercial buildings. Model energy codes, such as the 2021 IECC and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2019, are developed and updated through national consensus processes. States and local governments ultimately implement building energy codes, which are handled through various adoption, compliance, and enforcement processes and can vary widely across the United States. Many States have consistently received funding through their State Energy Plan to support the adoption of traditional building energy codes. In addition to this competitive funding opportunity announcement a formal funding announcement was published on September 19, 2023 for States pursuing pre-approved code packages.

There are three topic areas in this funding opportunity:

  • Topic Area 1: Adoption and Implementation of Qualifying Building Energy Codes by Certain Units of Local Government – This Topic Area is to provide funding to units of local government that have authority to adopt building codes for the adoption and implementation of a building energy code presented in Appendix C of this FOA, i.e., a qualifying building energy code.
  • Topic Area 2: Adoption and Implementation of the Latest Model Energy Codes or Zero Energy Codes with Combinations of Strengthening and Weakening Amendments by States and Certain Units of Local Governments – This Topic Area is to provide funding to States and units of local government that have authority to adopt building codes for the adoption and implementation of a building energy code with combinations of strengthening and weakening amendments that achieves equivalent or greater energy savings as compared to the applicable latest model energy code or zero energy code that is a qualifying building energy code.
  • Topic Area 3: Adoption and Implementation of Innovative Building Energy Code Approaches by States and Certain Units of Local Government – This Topic Area is to provide funding to States and units of local government that have authority to adopt building codes for the adoption and implementation of certain innovative building codes, including certain building performance standards (BPS) for existing buildings or stretch codes for new and renovated buildings. Codes eligible under this Topic Area must be measurable, verifiable, and enforceable. The subject codes under this Topic Area must achieve equal or greater energy savings as compared to a latest model code that is a qualifying building energy code, or the zero energy code appendices in the 2021 IECC, as applicable.

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) may remain open for up to 18 months, with review cycles occurring approximately every 6 months, while funding lasts.

In addition, it is a well-known challenge for smaller jurisdictions to find the bandwidth to develop an application for and subsequently administer a federal grant, so there are also simplified pathways provided for local governments to ease the burden of accessing these funds. In response to this challenge, Topic Area 1 provides a simplified pathway for local governments based on specified building energy codes.

Related Resources

Additional information is available on the Resources page.

Funding Details

Funding Source:
Funding Type:
Grant - no match
Total Amount Available:
$530,000,000
Limit per Applicant:
$20,000,000
Estimated Awards:
40 - 200

Applicant Guidance

Contact Information

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