July 2024 Newsletter


Building Decarb Update: Some Highlights at the Federal Level

In June, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced its National Definition of a Zero Emissions Building. It was finalized after receiving feedback from industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, and other stakeholders.

Part 1 of the Definition (Operational Emissions from Energy Use) sets criteria for a building with zero emissions from energy used for building operations. It applies to existing buildings and new construction and covers commercial and residential buildings not owned by the U.S. federal government. At a minimum, a building that achieves zero operational emissions from energy use must be efficient, free of onsite emissions from energy use, and powered solely from clean energy. ​​​​​​​Read more here

Electric Transmission Lines

Replacing conventional transmission lines with advanced conductors could sharply increase U.S. transmission capacity in the near-term, and at a lower cost than building new power lines, according to a report on reconductoring released Tuesday.

Reconductoring transmission lines could add about 64 TW-miles of new interzonal transmission capacity by 2035 compared to about 16 TW-miles from only building new transmission lines, the report from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley and GridLab said. Read more here


White House swears in first class of American Climate Corps

The Biden administration has just sworn in the first class of the American Climate Corpsa federal program to place young people in the clean energy, conservation, and climate resilience sectors.

AmeriCorps, the federal agency overseeing the new program, said it estimated that more than 9,000 members will be in their roles by the end of the month. The inaugural cohort will be sworn in over multiple events over the next few weeks, because of virtual meeting room restrictions, with the next event set for June 25. Read more here


ICAST Policy Blog

Study Shows States How to Maximize Federal Funding

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, the AnnDyl Policy Group, and the Building Performance Association have released a new paper identifying strategies that policymakers, efficiency program administrators, and other decision-makers can use to support home energy efficiency upgrades by braiding and stacking new federal funds with existing state, local, utility, and other resources. It explains how to (1) direct funding toward program elements that have proven most successful and (2) guide property owners and contractors as they navigate funding options for their projects. The paper contains a review of new and existing funding sources for residential energy efficiency and electrification, as well as a discussion of how funding can have more impact by supporting the key elements for successful retrofit programs. It includes several case studies highlighting how programs braid and stack funds to support their objectives.

Green and Resilient Retrofit Program First New York Transaction Closed

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced it has completed a $192,000 loan transaction under the Green and Resilient Retrofit Program (GRRP) with L+M Fund Management to help finance energy efficiency and climate resilience renovations of the Revive 103 apartment community in New York, New York. Revive 103 is a 60-unit, six-story building serving very low-income families. Read more here


TBL Fund Closes Bridge Loan

TBL Fund’s new Bridge Loan product is designed to help customers take advantage of the various incentives created by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). Many of these dollars are only disbursed to customers after project completion and validation. Bridge loans provide essential capital upfront, enabling stakeholders to initiate and advance their green projects and repay the loan with the incentives once they’re in hand.

Recently, TBL Fund closed a $556,000 bridge loan for three properties in Albuquerque, New Mexico, enabling them to undertake essential energy efficiency upgrades such as attic insulation, LED lighting, and smart thermostat installations among others. Read more here


Announcements: ICAST Adds Maine to Its Service Territories

ICAST Exceeding Goals for Healthy Homes Grant. In 2022, the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development awarded ICAST nearly $2 million for a Healthy Homes (HH) Production Grant in New Mexico. We have been diligently working on retrofitting low-income multifamily housing units, with the aim of significantly improving health conditions and energy efficiency for the residents.

As part of this program, ICAST has implemented an integrated Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) + HH assessment model to determine and execute the best scopes of work. Read more here

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