Resources and Model Policies

We are in the final phases of development of the energy and decarbonization resource database. Energy code compliance resources are now available. States, local jurisdictions, and organizations across the country have demonstrated leadership in developing tools for implementing the energy code, and programs and policies that both encourage and require advanced energy efficiency and carbon reduction. The laws and regulations behind these programs and policies can help other states and jurisdictions establish unique policies to address their particular needs.

Resources and model policies for  building energy efficiency and decarbonization have been identified in the following categories:

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Energy Code Compliance

Resources for energy code compliance include guidance on getting started whether it is a new approach to enforcing the currently adopted code, or gearing up to enforce a newly adopted code; top code issues according to nationwide FAQ, and best practices for training and education.

Example policies to come

Advanced Building Energy Policies and Resources

Exceeding the code policies require or encourage commercial and residential buildings to exceed the minimum code adopted by a state or jurisdiction. These policies may require that all projects achieve the same percentage of efficiency over the state or model energy code or that a particular project achieve an efficiency level over the adopted code.

Example policies to come

Embodied Carbon Policies and Resources

To begin addressing embodied carbon in new construction, resources included here focus on products that currently have more transparent product data available (i.e. concrete and steel). One key challenge is that it can be difficult to compare products of different classes and even products within the same class because of the lack of transparent product data. While it may not be feasible to develop and adopt embodied carbon code language in the current market, this is the first step to generate discussion on this topic.

Example policies to come

Grid Modernization and Connectivity/Electric Vehicles/Energy Storage

Clean-energy, including onsite renewables, energy storage, and energy-efficient technologies, such as electric vehicles, separately and together are increasingly being adopted to support energy efficiency.  As they become more prevalent on the customer side of the meter, the distribution system must evolve to account for these technologies in the supply and demand equation. Integration of these technologies into the electrical grid is critical to ensure that utilities can continue to operate the grid in a safe, reliable, and cost-effective manner.

Example policies to come

Operations and Maintenance

A well-run O&M program should conserve energy and water and be resource efficient, while meeting the comfort, health, and safety requirements of the building occupants. Effective O&M is one of the most cost-effective methods for ensuring reliability, safety, and energy efficiency. Inadequate maintenance of energy-using systems is a major cause of energy waste. Uninsulated lines, maladjusted or inoperable controls, and other losses from poor maintenance are often considerable. Good maintenance practices can generate substantial energy savings and should be considered a resource. Moreover, improvements to facility maintenance programs can often be accomplished immediately and at a relatively low cost. – Source FEMP O&M Best Practices Guide, Release 3.0

Example policies to come

Implementation Workforce

Local governments across the United States are increasingly enacting policies and offering programs to drive energy savings, but the success of these activities is inextricably linked to a strong, capable energy efficiency workforce. To ensure that trained workers are available to capitalize on efficiency investments, local governments can set workforce development goals, coordinate training programs, and provide equal access to opportunities to workers and businesses. They can also institute equity-focused energy efficiency workforce development programs and targets to extend these benefits to underserved community members, according to the research report, "Through the Local Government Lens: Developing the Energy Efficiency Workforce."