The stimulus package, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, focuses on economic stimulus through both tax credits and public-sector spending, with a heavy focus on infrastructure and energy. Here’s an interesting development I had missed at first glance through it:


The Department of Energy is offering $16.8 billion to the states for a variety of measures related to production of renewable energy, renewable energy and conservation research, carbon capture and sequestration research, grants for installation of items such as fuel cells and geothermal heat pumps, and other programs.

For a state to qualify to get the money, though, governors are required to work toward implementation of a commercial building energy code at least as stringent as ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007 and to develop a plan for achieving 90% compliance with the code, including provisions for training and enforcement programs. As posted on this blog several weeks ago, DOE recently determined that 90.1-2004 is the new national energy standard starting at the end of 2010. The governor similarly has to implement and enforce a residential energy code at least as stringent as IECC 2009.

It’s an interesting development because 1) a majority of states currently use IECC as a commercial energy code, but IECC 2009 recognizes 90.1-2007 as an alternative compliance standard, and 2) DOE just determined that the 2004 version of 90.1 is the new national energy standard starting at the end of 2010, but is now encouraging states to adopt 2007 before DOE has finished its determination on it.

Here’s an article I wrote for the Lighting Controls Association describing the major lighting changes in ASHRAE 90.1-2007.

Here’s the text from the law:

For an additional amount for `Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’, $14,398,000,000, for necessary expenses, to remain available until September 30, 2010: Provided, That $4,200,000,000 shall be available for Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants for implementation of programs authorized under subtitle E of title V of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (42 U.S.C. 17151 et seq.), of which $2,100,000,000 is available through the formula in subtitle E: Provided further, That the remaining $2,100,000,000 shall be awarded on a competitive basis only to competitive grant applicants from States in which the Governor certifies to the Secretary of Energy that the applicable State regulatory authority will implement the integrated resource planning and rate design modifications standards required to be considered under paragraphs (16) and (17) of section 111(d) of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 2621(d)(16) and (17)); and the Governor will take all actions within his or her authority to ensure that the State, or the applicable units of local government that have authority to adopt building codes, will implement–

(A) building energy codes for residential buildings that the Secretary determines are likely to meet or exceed the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code;

(B) building energy codes for commercial buildings that the Secretary determines are likely to meet or exceed the ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007; and

(C) a plan for implementing and enforcing the building energy codes described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) that is likely to ensure that at least 90 percent of the new and renovated residential and commercial building space will meet the standards within 8 years after the date of enactment of this Act …