Resources and Model Policies

We are in the final phases of development of the energy and decarbonization resource database.  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:

Energy Code Compliance View resources and sample policies

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. More information on compliance.

Advanced Building Energy Policies and Resources View resources and sample policies

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. More information on advanced energy efficiency.

Embodied Carbon Policies and Resources View resources and sample policies

Embodied carbon emissions from the building and construction contribute to 11% to global climate emissions through (1) one-time emissions from construction material extraction, manufacturing, and transportation; and (2) the one-time emissions from the construction of a building.  Adopting policies that address embodied carbon through construction material selection, presents a massive opportunity for a jurisdiction to drastically cut their global carbon emissions.  This chapter lays out a framework for thinking about embodied carbon in the context of net-zero energy buildings and introduces some of the most current research and policies. More information on embodied carbon.

Distributed Energy/Electric Vehicles/Energy Storage View resources and sample policies

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. More information on distributed energy. 

Operations and Maintenance Example policies to come

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

Implementation Workforce View resources and sample policies

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."  More information on workforce.