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Congress Passes Funding for Green Building

By Bryan Howard for USGBC

Congress has passed a sprawling spending bill and tax extenders package that covers funding for all federal agencies and includes short- and longer-term extensions for a number of popular incentives for businesses and consumers. Based on an initial review of the package, it is generally a win for those in green building.

The omnibus would provide $11B for programs under the Department of Energy, a $794M increase above 2015. Specifically, the Buildings Technologies Office received a $28M increase for next year. The bill also funds programs like the Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institutes at $70M and provides $10M for a competitive funding opportunity to achieve deeper energy efficiency improvements in small and medium-sized buildings.

Funding levels at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were not as successful, at $8.1B, which is a $100M reduction from last year’s funding. Although funding for agencies like EPA isn’t high, the good news is that the bill does not contain many of the problematic policy riders that had emerged through the appropriations process this year.


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