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The DOE is standardizing its definition for a zero emissions building
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In an effort to standardize decarbonization goals across the nation, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced a national definition of a zero emissions building. Currently, the public and private building sector is responsible for one-third of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. With the new definition, the DOE aims to provide clear industry guidance for new and existing commercial and residential buildings, ultimately moving toward a goal of zero emissions across the sector. 


There are nearly 130 million existing buildings in the United States, which collectively cost over $400 billion a year to heat, cool, light, and power, with 40 million new homes and 60 billion square feet of commercial floorspace expected to be constructed between now and 2050. One in four American households—and 50% of low-income households—struggle to pay their energy bills. Establishing a consistent definition for a zero-emissions building will accelerate climate progress, while lowering home and business energy bills. Additionally, the zero emissions definition provides market certainty and clarity to scale zero emissions new construction and retrofits.  


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