Buildings In The House Stimulus Package

The House of Representatives passed the The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 yesterday, sending the stimulus package to the senate. We’ve taken a look through the bill and have pulled out the sections related to buildings, and more specifically, building retrofits. Overall, we’re pleased to see that so much attention has been paid to weatherization and buildings, and we’re excited to see how this will play out.

We will look through the senate version of the stimulus when it gets sorted out. In the meantime, you can find the full text of the house bill here, and our analysis below.

HOUSE STIMULUS BILL

GSA program to increase energy efficiency in federal buildings

For construction, repair, and alteration of Federal buildings for projects that will create the greatest impact on energy efficiency and conservation. There are no indications as to levels of energy-efficiency that have to be obtained, or standards met. Also notes that 4 million shall be transferred to and merged with `Government-Wide Policy’, for the Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings as authorized in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

6 Billion

Local government energy efficiency block grants.

3.5 Billion for Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants

3.4 Billion for the State Energy Program

The money to the State Energy Programs is tied to decoupling. The bill authorizes money beyond the base allocation (still looking up what this amount is) only to states where the governor decouples utility regulation, where the state implements a residential energy code equal to or greater than the most recent IECC (and for commercial buildings, ASHRAE 90.1-2007), where the state has a plan for achieving compliance with the building energy code or codes described within 8 years of the date of enactment of this Act in at least 90 percent of new and renovated residential and commercial building space. Such plan shall include active training and enforcement programs and measurement of the rate of compliance each year. Also, the state must prioritize grants towards funding energy efficiency programs including the expansion of existing energy efficiency programs approved by the State or the appropriate regulatory authority, including energy efficiency retrofits of buildings and industrial facilities; the expansion of existing programs, approved by the State or the appropriate regulatory authority, to support renewable energy projects and deployment activities, including programs operated by entities which have the authority and capability to manage and distribute grants, loans, performance incentives, and other forms of financial assistance; and cooperation and joint activities between States to advance more efficient and effective use of this funding to support the priorities described in this paragraph.

6.9 Billion

HUD Energy efficiency housing retrofits for elderly, disabled, section 8.

2.5 billion for grants or loans to owners of properties receiving project-based assistance pursuant to section 202 of the Housing Act of 1959 (affordable housing for the elderly), section 811 of the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act (housing for the disabled), or section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (subsidized low-income), to accomplish energy retrofit investments. Among the provisions, the Secretary may set aside funds made available under this heading for an efficiency incentive payable upon satisfactory completion of energy retrofit investments, and may provide additional incentives if such investments resulted in extraordinary job creation for low-income and very low-income persons: Provided further, that of the funds provided under this heading, 1 percent shall be available only for staffing, training, technical assistance, technology, monitoring, research and evaluation activities.

2.5 Billion

Native American housing block grants.

To rehabilitate and improve energy efficiency at some of the over 42,000 housing units maintained by Native American housing programs. Does not call out energy efficiency….more stress on job creation for low-income.

500 Million

Self-help and assisted homeownership program.

For projects using sustainable and energy-efficient building and rehabilitation practices.

10 Million

Sustain, renovate and modernize Dept. of Defense facilities

energy efficiency (HVAC, water, sewage, insulation, etc).

1.79 Billion

Grants and loans institutions for energy sustainability and efficiency recovery funding

1.5 Billion

HUD Public Housing Capital Fund.

To carry out capital and management activities for public housing agencies. Within the public housing capital fund, the secretary may set aside 1 billion for competitive grants to public housing authorities for activities including: (1) investments that leverage private sector funding or financing for housing renovations and energy conservation retrofit investments; (2) rehabilitation of units using sustainable materials and methods that improve energy efficiency, reduce energy costs, or preserve and improve units with good access to public transportation or employment centers

1 Billion

Dept. of Defense research on energy efficiency at military installations.

For research, development, test and evaluation programs for improvements in energy generation, transmission, regulation, use, and storage, for military installations, military vehicles, and other military equipment. Split evenly between army, navy, air force, and “defense-wide”.

350 Million

HUD HOME Investment Partnerships Program.

Helps local communities build and rehabilitate low-income housing using green technologies.  Extends existing funding formula, with priority on contracts that can begin with 120 days.

1.5 Billion

Weatherization Assistance Program.

Income level is increased from 150 percent to 200 percent of Poverty Level. Money allowed per dwelling is increased from $2,500 to 5,000. The secretary may encourage states to give priority to using such funds for the most cost-effective measures, which may include insulation of attics, if in the secretary’s view, such use of funds would increase the effectiveness of the program.

6.2 Billion

Low Income Home Energy Assistance

States may allocate up to 15 percent of their basic grant allocation for low-cost residential weatherization or other energy-related home repair and up to 25 percent if they meet certain conditions and obtain a waiver from HHS.

1 Billion

School Modernization, Renovation, and Repair

6 billion for administration and oversight. Money is allocated to each State in proportion to the amount received by the State under part A of title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 for fiscal year 2008. 1 percent of the money can be kept for technical assistance, developing a plan to develop a database that includes an inventory of public school facilities in the State and the modernization, renovation, and repair needs of, energy use by, and the carbon footprint of such schools, and for developing a school energy efficiency quality plan.

There is a specific list of what can and can’t be done:

(1) repairing, replacing, or installing roofs, including extensive, intensive or semi-intensive green roofs, electrical wiring, plumbing systems, sewage systems, lighting systems, or components of such systems, windows, or doors, including security doors;

(2) repairing, replacing, or installing heating, ventilation, air conditioning systems, or components of such systems (including insulation), including indoor air quality assessments;

(3) bringing public schools into compliance with fire, health, and safety codes, including professional installation of fire/life safety alarms, including modernizations, renovations, and repairs that ensure that schools are prepared for emergencies, such as improving building infrastructure to accommodate security measures;

(4) modifications necessary to make public school facilities accessible to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.) and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794), except that such modifications shall not be the primary use of the grant;

(5) asbestos or polychlorinated biphenyls abatement or removal from public school facilities;

(6) implementation of measures designed to reduce or eliminate human exposure to lead-based paint hazards through methods including interim controls, abatement, or a combination of each;

(7) implementation of measures designed to reduce or eliminate human exposure to mold or mildew;

(8) upgrading or installing educational technology infrastructure to ensure that students have access to up-to-date educational technology;

(9) technology activities that are carried out in connection with school repair and renovation, including–

(A) wiring;

(B) acquiring hardware and software;

(C) acquiring connectivity linkages and resources; and

(D) acquiring microwave, fiber optics, cable, and satellite transmission equipment;

(10) modernization, renovation, or repair of science and engineering laboratory facilities, libraries, and career and technical education facilities, including those related to energy efficiency and renewable energy, and improvements to building infrastructure to accommodate bicycle and pedestrian access;

(11) renewable energy generation and heating systems, including solar, photovoltaic, wind, geothermal, or biomass, including wood pellet, systems or components of such systems;

(12) other modernization, renovation, or repair of public school facilities to–

(A) improve teachers’ ability to teach and students’ ability to learn;

(B) ensure the health and safety of students and staff;

(C) make them more energy efficient; or

(D) reduce class size; and

(13) required environmental remediation related to public school modernization, renovation, or repair described in paragraphs (1) through (12).

No less than 25 percent of the funds received must be used consistent with (A) the LEED Green Building Rating System; (B) Energy Star; (C) the CHPS Criteria; (D) Green Globes; or (E) an equivalent program adopted by the State or another jurisdiction with authority over the local educational agency.

The program should be coordinated with Youthbuild

14 Billion

Higher Education Modernization, Renovation, and Repair

Funds are allocated based on the number of students attending institutions of higher education, with the State higher education agency in each State receiving an amount that is in proportion to the number of full-time undergraduate students attending institutions of higher education in such State for the most recent fiscal year for which there are data available, relative to the total number of full-time equivalent undergraduate students attending institutions of higher education in all States for such fiscal year.

States are to give priority to institutions that demonstrate that the proposed project will increase the energy efficiency of the institution’s facilities and comply with the LEED Green Building Rating System.

There is a specific list of what can and can’t be done:

(A) Repair, replacement, or installation of roofs, electrical wiring, plumbing systems, sewage systems, or lighting systems.

(B) Repair, replacement, or installation of heating, ventilation, or air conditioning systems (including insulation).

(C) Compliance with fire and safety codes, including–

(i) professional installation of fire or life safety alarms; and

(ii) modernizations, renovations, and repairs that ensure that the institution’s facilities are prepared for emergencies, such as improving building infrastructure to accommodate security measures.

(D) Retrofitting necessary to increase the energy efficiency of the institution’s facilities.

(E) Renovations to the institution’s facilities necessary to comply with accessibility requirements in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.) and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794).

(F) Abatement or removal of asbestos from the institution’s facilities.

(G) Modernization, renovation, and repair relating to improving science and engineering laboratories, libraries, and instructional facilities.

(H) Upgrading or installation of educational technology infrastructure.

(I) Installation or upgrading of renewable energy generation and heating systems, including solar, photovoltaic, wind, biomass (including wood pellet), or geothermal systems, or components of such systems.

(J) Other modernization, renovation, or repair projects that are primarily for instruction, research, or student housing.

No less than 25 percent of the funds received must be used consistent with (A) the LEED Green Building Rating System; (B) Energy Star; (C) the CHPS Criteria; (D) Green Globes; or (E) an equivalent program adopted by the State or another jurisdiction with authority over the local educational agency.

6 Billion

0 thoughts on “Buildings In The House Stimulus Package

  1. Hello Brian,
    Thank you for the informative post. I have been trying to figure out how to best leverage and expand our patented waste management equipment and services within the public and private school systems via the Stimulus Package. Our dual powered (120volt 20amp / 12volt DC , very low energy) solid waste compactor was developed and patented in the 90’s on the premise of efficiency. Well efficient is Green and we have proven this multiple times with large school districts in the Southeast. For example, in early 2002 we contracted with DeKalb County School system to utilize our equipment and services and the end result wast that over a five year period they not only saved 4.5 million dollars on waste management but also reduced the heavy truck traffic associated with collection by nearly 1000% (great carbon foot print reduction).

    My reading of the Stimulus leads me to believe that there could possibly be grant monies available for our Green and efficient systems for other school systems. The upfront capital has always been the main barrier to sales with these organizations. While they agree that we provide great benefit, in the end of their budget negotiations waste management/recycling investments always end up getting cut. Do you think the Stimulus could solve this issue? I am meeting with the Georgia Government and have tremendous interest by several including the Lieutenant Governor. I am also working to be recognized as LEED certified or accredited.

    We are small business and could use some help understanding the flow of funding as well as the hurdles we must overcome to correctly position ourselves for these funds.

    Thank you for your time.

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