Green Energy Building Codes Pushed by Biden Administration 

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By Carina

The Biden administration’s recent announcement about allocating hundreds of millions in federal funding to update energy codes across the nation has sparked a debate.

This initiative aims to align these codes with stringent energy efficiency standards. Experts suggest that this move might subtly herald a ban on natural gas.

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Federal Funding for Energy Efficiency

As part of implementing the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the Department of Energy (DOE) disclosed its plan to offer a total of $530 million in grants.

These funds are meant for local governments to enhance residential and commercial building codes.

According to the DOE, adopting the latest model energy codes and building performance standards could significantly lower emissions.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm stated, “Shaping a clean energy future for cities and neighborhoods requires a whole system approach that includes modernizing the building stock to use less energy and be more resilient in the face of increasing natural disasters.”

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The Inflation Reduction Act and Building Codes

Under the IRA, the DOE is designated $1 billion for awarding grants to local jurisdictions to adopt the 2021 International Energy Conservation Codes (IECC), developed by the International Code Council.

An additional $400 million is allocated for building code upgrades. The IECC, set for an update in 2024, demands high energy efficiency in new building constructions.

The National Association of Home Builders cautions that adhering to the 2021 IECC could raise the cost of new homes significantly, by as much as $31,000.

Controversies and Criticisms

The federal effort to promote more efficient energy codes nationwide is seen as a possible precursor to policies that might ban natural gas hookups in new buildings, pushing for all-electric buildings.

Ben Lieberman, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, told Fox News Digital, “It’s a lot of money, and it’s clearly designed to push the Biden administration’s climate agenda onto state and local governments.”

Environmentalists focus on the U.S. buildings sector, responsible for a substantial portion of greenhouse gas emissions, to combat global warming. Several cities, including major ones like Los Angeles and New York City, have imposed restrictions on natural gas hookups.

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Local Codes and Consumer Impact

Diana Furchtgott-Roth, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Energy, Climate, and Environment, shared her insights with Fox News Digital.

“These local code updates are typically outside the public’s view because they’re so obscure and no one pays attention to them,” she said.

She expressed concerns about the long-term costs to consumers and the government’s role in influencing energy choices.

Wider Regulatory Changes

The Biden administration’s initiatives extend beyond building codes. It has also introduced regulations targeting gas-powered home appliances, potentially leading to higher consumer prices.

Evaluating Environmental Goals and Consumer Rights

The administration’s push towards energy-efficient building codes reflects a significant step in its climate strategy. While aiming to modernize standards and reduce emissions, it raises questions about its economic impact and the broader shift from natural gas.

The ongoing debate balances environmental objectives against consumer autonomy and choice.

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