New Electrification and Workforce Programs Announced by Biden Administration

Source: RL Martin

On May 17 at the Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy, Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Chair Brenda Mallory, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan, and General Services Administration (GSA) Acting Administrator Katy Kale announced a suite of new electrification and workforce initiatives that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create jobs, and help states, localities, and the federal government achieve key climate goals.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will invest $30 million in workforce training and career pathway development to enhance job opportunities and the energy performance of America’s buildings through construction, retrofit, and electrification. DOE’s buildings sector thrust will also include: partnering with the Advanced Water Heating Initiative to increase grid-connected Heat Pump Water Heater adoption in residential and commercial buildings; an Initiative for Better Energy, Emissions, and Equity (E3 Initiative) for advancing heat pump technology research and adoption; and, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a Low-Carbon Buildings Pilot program to support commercial, industrial, and multifamily organizations reach carbon emissions reduction goals. In addition, DOE released a National Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings (GEB) Roadmap (to which the NASEO-NARUC GEB Working Group provided input) with 14 recommendations to address top barriers to GEB adoption and deployment while GSA published a blueprint for integrating grid-interactive technologies into federal building renovation and improvement projects (which also complements NASEO-NARUC GEB Working Group interest). 

Also announced were new and expanded EPA partnerships through the ENERGY STAR Home Upgrade program and advanced ENERGY STAR certifications for new residential buildings and zero-carbon commercial buildings. EPA also plans to develop new ENERGY STAR standards for heat pump technologies and electric vehicle fast chargers, and to launch a greenhouse gas feature associated with its popular Portfolio Manager tool. Finally, CEQ is partnering with DOE, GSA, and EPA to develop building performance standards for the federal government, which will include metrics, targets, and tracking methods to reach emissions goals.

NASEO is and will remain engaged on these initiatives which offer opportunities for State Energy Offices to advance their states’ energy, environmental, and economic development objectives.

For additional information visit the White House Fact Sheet: Biden Administration Accelerates Efforts to Create Jobs Making American Buildings More Affordable, Cleaner, and Resilient.