The government is setting higher standards for appliances which is part of making buildings more efficient. Cities and counties authorize certain building codes, so it’s up to them to make building policy. But federal buildings that the US government has authority over are being made more efficient and in some cases certified under the LEED (leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) system.
In my opinion, the most major step the national government is taking towards this is budgeting money for green construction grants and providing federal tax incentives for installing certain energy systems. They also started the Green Corps. which will hopefully develop more people to go into the fields of Green construction and alternative energy, both of which lack human capital.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Program recently received a $31 million boost to a $231 million budget for research on energy efficient building codes, energy efficient equipment, and multiple other research and development programs. The Federal Energy Management Program has also receive additional funding to apply energy efficient technologies to federal facilities. Department of Energy Solar America Communities program teams up with municipalities to overcome market barriers in solar energy. Government facilities in participating towns and cities are solar powered.
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