The Multi-Trillion Dollar Budget Reviewed: What it Means for Residential Construction and Fenestration

April 7th, 2022 by Travis Rains

The Biden Administration released the Budget of the U.S. Government for Fiscal Year 2023 last week. In about 150 pages, the budget details more than $5 trillion, and several departments are receiving portions of those funds to create more efficient and sustainable infrastructure and construction projects.

The document requests that the Department of Energy allocate and use $48.2 billion to invest in domestic clean energy manufacturing. The allocation lays out plans for future construction projects, including “$2.1 billion to support clean energy workforce and infrastructure projects across the nation; $502 million to weatherize and retrofit low-income homes; $150 million to electrify [Tribal Nation] homes and transition [Tribal Nation] colleges and universities to renewable energy.”

Also budgeted is $100 million for a Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Advantage pilot to electrify and decarbonize low-income homes. The budget includes a $90 million allotment for a new Grid Deployment Office “to build the grid of the future.” In addition, $150 million in credit subsidy for the DOE Title XVII Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program will support up to $5 billion in loans for eligible projects that “avoid, reduce or sequester greenhouse gas emissions.”

According to the budget, the Biden Administration will leverage federal procurement power to move toward a “clean energy future,” with goals such as 100% carbon pollution-free federal electricity on a net annual basis by 2030. Additional goals include 100% zero-emission vehicle acquisitions by 2035 and net-zero emissions in the federal building portfolio by 2045.

The Administration also aims to better disclose and mitigate risks associated with climate change in the federal acquisition process.

Much of the door and window industry consists of small businesses, and the 2023 budget requests $914 million in discretionary funding for the Small Business Administration. The allocation is “to ensure that small businesses and entrepreneurs have access to the information and resources they need to start, grow, or recover their business.”

“Aggressive” actions on the part of federal agencies will work to increase contract awards to Small Disadvantaged Businesses (SDB) and other underserved entrepreneurs.

“This includes increasing contract awards for SDBs from just over 10% to 15% of total federal contract spend by 2025,” according to the budget.

As the fenestration and construction industry faces a labor shortage, the budget requests $14.6 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Labor (DoL). According to the budget, this will be to build the skills of America’s workers and protect workers’ rights, health and safety and wages, the document says. To attract future workers, the DoL’s allocation intends to expand access to registered apprenticeships and provide training and employment pathways for young workers.

The Administration also eyes an increase in the procurement of products made in America to support domestic manufacturing. The budget identifies plans to utilize the federal acquisition system in providing greater transparency in agency acquisition plans “so domestic providers can help meet agency requirements.”

In addition, the budget announces a new government-wide acquisition regulation establishing an “aggressive” schedule to raise domestic content to 75% by 2029.

Luly Hernandez also contributed to this report.

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