With the adoption of new laws requiring greener construction and greater energy efficiency, many local officials are wondering whether they will be able to fund critical infrastructure and building projects.
Last year, the State adopted the California Building Code, which contains both mandatory and voluntary green building and energy efficiency measures for public and private buildings. Additionally, at least thirty California cities and counties have enacted local green building ordinances in the last three years. All of these local green building regulations require LEED Ô certification, which can cost between 1% and 7% of a project’s overall cost.
Many local officials hope for funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which allocated $60 billion for “green programs.” In an earlier post, we discussed California's share of funding allocated to transportation-related infrastructure. As of March 31, California will also be allocating infrastructure funds to storm sewers, new parks, government buildings, offices, and airport terminals. Additionally, the State will be receiving funds from the Department of Energy (DOE) and the General Service Administration (GSA). The DOE will receive roughly $32 billion of these funds for green programs, most of which will be focused on energy efficiency, renewable energies, and state weatherization. The GSA is expecting approximately $5.5 billion of these funds designated for green building. Federal green building funds are expected to be spent on greening federal buildings, state energy programs, state weatherization, and schools.
Local officials will be watching Governor Schwarzenegger’s office as it allocates funding to “shovel ready” projects. The estimated time for the funds to hit the market is the beginning of next year.