In the economic stimulus package signed into law Feb. 17 by President Barack Obama, ASHRAE says that the energy-saving features of its Standard 90.1 are recognized through special funding.
According to the association, for states to receive
additional funding from the $16.8 billion allotted to the Department of Energy
and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, governors would be
required to work toward state building energy codes at least as stringent as
the 2007 version of Standard 90.1
They must also develop a
plan for achieving 90 percent compliance with the code, including provisions
for training and enforcement programs.
“For more than 30
years, Standard 90.1 has been one of the building industry’s most important
benchmarks for energy efficiency,” said Bill Harrison, president of the
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. “Its
inclusion in the economic stimulus package demonstrates not only its importance
in the building industry, but the importance and economic potential of saving
energy and promoting energy-efficient technologies.”
90.1 provides minimum requirements for the energy-efficient design of U.S.
buildings except for low-rise residential structures. Written during the 1970s
energy crisis, ASHRAE Standard 90.1 first was published in 1975 as an effort to
cut energy use. The 2004 version of the standard was referenced in the U.S.
Energy Policy Act, which requires states to adopt commercial building codes
that meet or exceed the standard’s requirements.
set a goal of making the standard 30 percent more stringent by
The stimulus package, formally called the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act, focuses on improving the nation’s sputtering
economy through tax credits and public-sector spending, with a heavy focus on
infrastructure and energy. ASHRAE officials claim that several provisions could
bring new opportunities to the building sector.
tax credits available for the production of renewable energy are extended until
at least 2012. Research expenses associated with renewable energy, conservation
and reducing greenhouse gases could result in higher credits in 2009 and 2010.
The U.S. Department of Energy has also been authorized to
provide grants up to 30 percent of the cost of installation of items such as
fuel cells, solar, geothermal heat pumps, and combined heat and power systems.
Government branches that deal with energy issues will be
receiving $21.4 billion for research, weatherization assistance, grants and
other programs. The Labor Department is set to receive $750 million for job
training, with significant focus on emerging industry sectors including energy
efficiency and renewable energy
Federal agencies will be receiving funds for retrofitting and upgrading
existing facilities to meet federal energy and water use requirements and
alleviate any maintenance backlogs.
Economic stimulus bill reinforces energy standard, ASHRAE says
May 1, 2009