Earlier this year, the National Energy Management Institute (NEMI) announced its partnership with the Biden administration to help government agencies, building owners and managers, and school districts find skilled, trained and certified technicians to perform ventilation verification and indoor air quality assessments. As part of its partnership, NEMI created the betterairinbuildings.org website, where potential customers can complete a form to find certified contractors near them to perform the work.
The primary objective of the website is to educate and inform stakeholders about the need for improved indoor air quality as well as the problems and risks involved with providing substandard air quality to building occupants.
In addition to assisting potential customers in finding certified contractors, the website provides information on the hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding programs offered to schools and businesses to improve indoor air quality.
Another section of the website explains the benefits of heat pumps as they pertain to energy efficiency. New, energy efficient heat pumps can lower energy bills, improve indoor air quality and save energy.
Industry experts expect the demand for heat pumps to skyrocket due to new technology, federal investments and the tax rebates, grants and incentives made available through the American Rescue Plan, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act.
In November, the White House announced more than $13 billion in assistance aimed at lowering utility bills, creating union jobs and meeting climate goals, all with a big emphasis on heat pumps. This investment will undoubtedly create work hours for members of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation (SMART) workers in the coming years.
New rebates are expected to allow 1.6 million households and apartments nationwide to upgrade to as many as 500,000 heat pumps, and the federal government has made it clear that it will lead by example. The Department of Energy issued new building energy code requirements for federal buildings, which will require major retrofits while ensuring new buildings comply with the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and the 2019 American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 90.1 building energy codes. In addition, the Department of Health and Human Services has allocated $4.5 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which covers winter home heating costs and home energy efficiency repairs.
To meet the demand for new heat pumps, President Joe Biden invoked the Defense Production Act (DPA) earlier in 2022, so the Department of Energy can boost domestic production of critical energy resources. Heat pumps, one of five technologies included in President Biden’s DPA announcement, are a key component in the administration’s goal of reducing carbon emissions and lowering energy prices.
Find out more about NEMI at the website www.nemionline.org