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Policy Principles

Adopted March 28, 2019  |  Revised June 19, 2023

The mission of the Building Performance Association (BPA) is to advance a thriving industry delivering improved energy efficiency, health, and environmental performance of buildings. With over two decades of leadership in energy efficiency and home performance, BPA advocates for policies that align with our mission and support the building performance and energy efficiency businesses and industries that employ more than 2.3 million Americans across all 50 states.

We believe that energy efficiency grounded in building science is the quickest, cleanest, and least expensive way to optimize energy consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Energy efficiency also delivers direct benefits to households and communities by making homes more healthy, comfortable, and resilient; reducing energy burdens; alleviating housing insecurity; creating local jobs; and supporting economic development. We believe that energy efficiency and its many benefits should be accessible to all and we center equity and inclusion in our policies and program priorities.

The following policy principles guide BPA’s policy and advocacy efforts at the federal and state levels:

  1. We support recognition of the building performance workforce as a distinct and critical industry, to better quantify our collective impact and increase our industry’s ability to access funding from federal and state agencies. We understand that our industry needs to invest in diversity, equity, and inclusion to ensure that the workforce represents the communities we serve.
  2. We support the development and effective funding of comprehensive workforce development programs (e.g., education, training stipends, apprenticeships, and career paths) to enable the stabilization and expansion of a diverse building performance workforce that is inclusive of all trades that contribute to comprehensive building performance and energy efficiency upgrades and welcoming to workers across all markers of identity (age, race, gender, ability, etc.).
  3. We support credentialing of contractors, technicians and installers who work in the building performance industry. Along with training, credentials raise the performance level of work and provide a pathway for advancement within building performance companies for workers. We acknowledge that credentialing can create access barriers for diverse contractors and will work with them to ensure inclusive access to training and credentialing programs and the projects that require those credentials.
  4. We support collaboration between the weatherization and building performance industries to promote training and standards that enable the success and expansion of high-quality retrofits of housing occupied by both low-income and market-rate households, including renters.
  5. We support robust federal and state funding for energy efficiency, weatherization, building performance, and workforce development and advocate that at least 40% of the benefits of these investments flow to disadvantaged communities.
  6. We support incentives, such as rebates and tax incentives, to increase access to comprehensive building performance and energy efficiency upgrades..
  7. We support creation and expansion of well-designed and equitable financing options to increase uptake of building performance and energy efficiency upgrades while protecting consumer rights.
  8. We encourage regulators to use cost-effectiveness screening practices that align with state policy and account for the full benefits and costs of building performance and energy efficiency improvements, including the additional benefits for low-income households and disadvantaged communities.
  9. We support policies and research to advance healthy homes, such as policies that address barriers to comprehensive energy upgrades and support growth of new funding sources for healthy homes initiatives that engage skilled home performance contractors.
  10. We believe that both energy efficiency and electrification are key to economy-wide decarbonization. BPA supports building electrification that is BOTH beneficial[1] and equitable.[2] Combining electrification with building science-based energy efficiency and weatherization leads to enhanced energy affordability, improved resident health and safety, better building performance, and greater community, environmental, and grid resilience. Complementary policies and programs (e.g., increased weatherization funding, rate design) are also important to ensure that building electrification initiatives improve energy affordability and security for vulnerable households and communities.
  11. We support utilizing smart technologies to enable secure data collection and information-sharing between homeowners, utilities, partners, and service providers that advance building energy performance.
  12. We support consistent, secure, and reliable access to utility data to enable data-driven energy management strategies and improved quantification of the energy savings and additional benefits from building performance projects.
  13. We encourage standardized data transfer and reporting for building performance programs to encourage comparability across programs, reduce administrative costs, and enable interoperability between stakeholders in the energy efficiency industry and other information trading partners, such as the real estate and financing industries, in order to scale up adoption of energy upgrades.
  14. We support policies and research that consider the benefits of energy efficiency and weatherization in addressing broader goals, such as lower energy burden, resilient infrastructure, a clean and reliable power grid, improved health outcomes, climate change mitigation, and equitable outcomes for all communities.
  15. We support active engagement of state agencies and governor’s offices to advance economic empowerment and job creation for energy efficiency businesses and industries, which created or maintained 2.3 million jobs nationwide in 2019.

[1] Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) definition: For electrification to be considered beneficial, it must meet one or more of the following conditions without adversely affecting the other two: 1. Saves consumers money over the long run; 2. Enables better grid management; and 3. Reduces negative environmental impacts.

[2] BPA defines equitable electrification as beneficial electrification that saves consumers money over the long run without increasing energy costs for low- and moderate-income households in the short run. To be truly equitable, electrification must also be accessible and affordable to underrepresented communities, and these communities should be empowered and engaged in decision-making. Greenlining’s Equitable Building Electrification Framework provides steps to directly engage underrepresented communities and ensure procedural equity. To inform equitable decision-making, modeling and analysis of total costs and carbon impacts should also use reasonable assumptions that neither under- nor overestimate marginal costs and carbon impacts or likely appliance efficiencies (e.g., ENERGY STAR minimums).