President Obama (D) recently proposed fiscal 2012 funding for several programs that are designed to promote green buildings across the United States.
Among other things, Obama is seeking $100 million in appropriated credit subsidy costs and $5 million for administrative expenses for a new Better Buildings Pilot Loan Guarantee Initiative for universities, schools, and hospitals. The request follows the president's call for a Better Buildings Initiative that aims to achieve a 20 percent improvement in energy efficiency for commercial buildings over the next decade (GBI, Feb. 15, 2011, "President's New Better Buildings Initiative Wins Trade Groups' Praise").
The stated mission of the initiative is to "provide funds for cost-effective technologies and measures, and to help catalyze the emerging industry for commercial building retrofits."
Once authorized, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) would design program regulations outlining terms and conditions for issuing loan guarantees under the program. The decision to issue any specific loan guarantee would depend on the merits and benefits of individual project proposals and their compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements. Funding has not previously been appropriated for this program.
Under Obama's plan, the initiative would do the following:
- Develop policies for, provide management oversight of, and give direction to the operation of the program.
- Review, analyze, and make recommendations on loan guarantee applications.
- Ensure coordination with DOE program offices and their technical expertise.
- Procure expert services needed during the review of loan guarantee applications.
- Provide information and advice to stakeholders of the program.
- Develop policies and procedures related to specific loan-guarantee provisions.
- Ensure effective and consistent implementation of loan-guarantee regulations, guidelines, policies, and procedures, including monitoring and asset management.
The president also requested an increase in the federal Building Technologies Program (BTP) from the current appropriated level of $219.046 million to $470.700 million in FY'12.
Within BTP, there would be $49.000 million for Residential Buildings Integration, $224.000 million for Commercial Buildings Integration, $102.700 million for the Emerging Technologies effort, $25.000 million for Technology Validation and Market Introduction, and $70.000 million for Equipment Standards and Analysis.