Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham announced today that theDepartment of Energy(DOE) is awarding $1.989 million to 22 states to update and implement building energy codes, which will save consumers millions of dollars in energy bills and increase national energy security. "These grants will enable states to improve the energy efficiency of new and renovated buildings by upgrading building codes, and will provide energy code training to more than 2,000 architects, builders, code officials and engineers," Secretary Abraham said.

"The Department of Energy's Building Energy Codes Program contributes to President Bush's goal of improving the energy efficiency of buildings, as outlined in his National Energy Plan." DOE is providing funding through State Energy Program special project competitive grants and will make the awards before the end of this fiscal year. State energy offices and state code authorities will administer the awards.

The department has also provided technical assistance to several states to upgrade their building energy codes. New York, for example, recently adopted a building code, which will go into effect in July and is expected to save $46 million in energy costs per year.

Improving the energy efficiency of new and renovated homes, commercial, and institutional buildings saves consumers and the government money and decreases business operating costs. DOE's investment in upgrading building energy codes has improved the energy efficiency of nearly three billion sq ft of new commercial floor space and nearly four million households, and saved consumers an estimated $4.2 billion, enough to provide the energy requirement of more than three million homes for a year. For every dollar spent the Building Energy Codes Program yields more than $105 in annual energy savings.