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ACEEE Policy Brief: States That Will Benefit Most from Updated Building Energy Codes 

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Overview

View the report which assesses and identifies the states who could see the biggest impact from improving their energy codes.

States will soon have access to major federal investments to advance building energy codes.

The Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced $45 million in competitive grants for Resilient and Efficient Codes Implementation (RECI), the first installment of such funding from the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). And there is much more to come: An eventual total of $225 million in BIL funding over five years, and $1 billion in funding to support state adoption of stronger energy codes in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is expected to become available later this year. While all states’ residents and businesses would benefit from reducing building energy usage, states with older energy codes (or none at all) will see the biggest improvements in efficiency. But the overall impact of updating energy codes will also depend on other factors, such as a state’s existing building emissions and new construction activity. In the ACEEE 2022 State Scorecard, they assess the strength of states’ current residential and commercial building energy codes, but what about the states who could see the biggest impact from improving their energy codes?

To understand this, ACEEE performed an analysis using publicly available data sources to identify the 10 states with statewide codes that are best positioned to take advantage of the upcoming funding: Louisiana, North Carolina, Minnesota, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Kentucky, and Oklahoma. They also include the five “home rule” states that scored similarly to these 10 but that have additional challenges because they lack statewide codes: Colorado, North Dakota, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Missouri. These 15 states cover regions of the United States extending southwest from the mid-Atlantic and into the upper Midwest, range from small to large, and are highly diverse in their current building emissions, climate policies, and construction activity.

View and download the ACEEE Policy Brief

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