Learn what’s in the bill, expected to be passed on Friday by the House.
The U.S. Senate passed the largest climate legislation in U.S. history on Aug. 7: a $370 billion package expected to drive down greenhouse gas emissions by 40%, including unprecedented incentives and investments in green buildings.
The potential outline of the climate deal has been largely known since last year, but the sudden momentum in passing it—following months of frustrating negotiations that appeared dead on several occasions—is exciting to witness.
We are days away from the bill’s expected passage in the House of Representatives on Aug. 12, before it goes to President Biden to be signed into law, triggering a decade of federal investments that aim to transform markets for energy efficiency, renewable energy and other clean energy technologies. The $370 billion in climate provisions are part of a broader health care and tax package that raises some $740 billion, more than $300 billion of which would go toward deficit reduction.
What is in it for green buildings and sustainable communities? We’ve put together a slide deck that covers the highlights.
The core of the climate package is a suite of tax incentives that will be in place for a decade or more, providing a new level of economic certainty for clean energy markets. The bill includes significant expansions and extensions of tax incentives for energy efficiency improvements to homes and buildings (including the 179D, 45L and 25C incentives), renewable power generation, electric vehicles, distributed energy resources and other clean energy technologies.
It also includes billions of dollars in investments in public building upgrades, green building improvements to affordable housing and low embodied carbon construction materials. Plus, it offers tens of billions in new clean energy financing opportunities, such as Department of Energy loans, a clean tech accelerator green bank, and environmental justice and community redevelopment grants.
USGBC is proud to have advocated for many of these provisions in recent years. Achieving policy success is a long game that requires persistent advocacy to seize windows of opportunity when they open.
This bill isn’t everything, but we believe it is a historic turning point in our collective efforts to address the climate crisis. Thank you to all in the green building community who helped make it happen. To get more involved in our advocacy, sign up for the Advocacy Working Group or contact Ben Evans with any questions.