21st July 2024

Discover how Architects are becoming a member of the clear vitality era to assist lead the Southeast right into a clear and sustainable future.

Julian Harden | October 9, 2023 | Vitality Effectivity, Vitality Justice, Georgia, Utilities

On September 17th, SACE gave a presentation hosted on the Atlanta Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), specializing in how architects can play a constructive position in reaching an equitable clear vitality transition by leveraging the federal authorities’s in depth funding in clear vitality by laws enacted over the previous two years. The occasion was an thrilling change of concepts, emphasizing architects’ important roles in reshaping the city panorama of the Southeast with sustainability and fairness in thoughts. 

Clear Buildings: Constructing with Sustainability in Thoughts

Architects and constructing professionals have an important position in reaching an equitable clear vitality transition. By understanding the advantages of unpolluted vitality and what funding sources can be found, they’ll inform their purchasers about alternatives obtainable for each new developments and retrofit tasks. That is particularly important in areas designated for receiving notable investments by the Biden Administration’s Justice40 initiative, which goals to make sure that 40% of the advantages from nationwide clear vitality and local weather investments attain deprived communities disproportionately affected by environmental and socioeconomic challenges.

The present slate of federal tax incentives, grants, and upcoming rebate applications can apply to many tasks, bringing vitality financial savings and well being advantages to constructing homeowners and occupants. The bonus credit with some provisions are directed at particular communities and functions. Anybody wishing to benefit from tax credit ought to seek the advice of a tax skilled to find out eligibility.

One of many key takeaways from the occasion was the numerous alternative to make the most of federal funding from the Inflation Discount Act of 2022 and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation of 2021 (IRA and BIL) to put money into clear vitality and vitality effectivity for current and new buildings. Residents, companies, faculties, native governments, and non-profit organizations can now entry federal funding for energy-efficient upgrades to their amenities, enhancing the lives and well-being of their occupants. 

Monetary Incentives for Clear Buildings

Tax Credit

These incentives embody tax credit for retrofitting business buildings, making vitality enhancements in single- and multi-family houses, putting in photo voltaic and battery programs, and constructing new energy-efficient houses, in addition to particular credit for inexpensive housing. The tax incentives in IRA are geared towards selling cleaner, extra energy-efficient constructing constructions, together with Part 179D for vitality effectivity in business buildings, Part 48 for business photo voltaic, 25C for house vitality effectivity, 25D for residential photo voltaic and batteries, 45L for brand spanking new houses, and 30C for electrical car chargers. 


Federal rebates will turn into obtainable subsequent yr for high-efficiency electrical home equipment and vitality retrofits, focusing on low- and moderate-income households, paving the way in which for a greener and extra sustainable future. State vitality workplaces for collaborating states (together with Georgia, North and South Carolina, and Tennessee) are within the means of implementing the Division of Vitality’s (DOE) House Vitality Rebate program. In some states, rebates are anticipated to be obtainable beginning within the fall of 2024.


Grant applications are additionally obtainable to help funding in enhancing vitality effectivity and clear vitality upgrades to buildings similar to faculties and non-profits. For example, Riverview Elementary College in Memphis, TN, was awarded a $9.5M grant by the Renew America’s Colleges program in June 2023, funded through BIL. This infusion of funds allows essential vitality effectivity upgrades, together with enhanced HVAC programs, energy-efficient lighting, eco-friendly home windows, and a photo voltaic vitality array. Such enhancements foster more healthy studying environments whereas lowering utility prices—a win-win for college kids, taxpayers, and the setting.

Non-profit organizations, too, are seizing the chance to boost their vitality effectivity, marking a major step towards a extra sustainable and equitable future. By Renew America’s Non-profits program, non-profit organizations nationwide can apply for grants of as much as $200,000 for vitality effectivity tasks. DOE is at the moment choosing 5-15 bigger non-profits as prime recipients to handle a portfolio of sub-recipients of smaller nonprofits, specializing in lowering vitality prices and carbon emissions and enhancing the well-being of non-profit staff. DOE is ready to announce prime recipients in October 2023.

Actual-world success tales like Riverview Elementary display how these applied sciences and sources at the moment are extra obtainable and possible than ever. Architects and builders can play a key position by planning now to make sure that their tasks are positioned to benefit from tax credit obtainable for particular functions and areas. 

Structure and Fairness

Our presentation underscored the basic significance of centering progress round fairness. It’s not sufficient to embrace clear vitality; the clear vitality transformation should embody all, notably low-income and communities of shade. This dedication is embodied within the Biden Administration’s Justice40 initiative. Using the Local weather and Financial Justice Screening device, we are able to determine the neighborhoods that require prioritization in clear vitality and sustainability investments. With a number of Justice40-designated areas, Atlanta is poised to harness present federal funding in clear vitality to assist tackle standing inequities. 

Be a part of the Clear Vitality Era Motion

Architects and constructing professionals are in a singular place to make the most of newly obtainable funding to advance clear vitality by enhancing the effectivity of the buildings we inhabit and designing the wholesome communities we envision. Nevertheless, folks in all vocations and from all backgrounds – no matter age, earnings, zip code, or talents – have a job to play within the clear vitality transition. Collectively, the Clear Vitality Era motion is taking motion to create more healthy communities and a safer and sustainable setting, beginning now. Be a part of us on this transformative journey and we’ll share concepts, sources, instruments, and practices to display how every of us can contribute to this very important transformation.

Click on to Be a part of the Clear Vitality Era

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