Smart Buildings

Will Biden Inauguration Mark a Turning Point for the Smart Buildings Market?

Today Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president of the US, marking the end of the Trump administration. During four years in office, Trump reversed more than 100 environmental regulations, dismantling major climate policies, and rolling back numerous green policies, including many that sought to bring about efficiency in our buildings. This set back the US smart buildings market and the global battle against climate change. So, what can we expect from the incoming administration? Biden has promised to sign a series of new executive orders that demand congress enacts legislation to establish an enforcement mechanism for milestone environmental targets. He will rejoin the Paris accord and vows to make a historic investment in clean energy and climate research and innovation, which will incentivize the rapid deployment of clean energy innovations across the economy. He has also committed to smart infrastructure investments for buildings, water, transportation, and energy infrastructure to help prevent, […]

Stay ahead of the pack

with the latest independent smart building research and thought leadership.

Have an account? Login

Subscribe Now for just $200 per year per user (just $17 USD per month) for Access to Quality Independent Smart Building Research & Analysis!

What Exactly Do you Get?

  • Access to Website Articles and Notes. Unlimited Access to the Library of over 1,700 Articles Spanning 10 Years.
  • 10% discount on ALL Memoori Research reports for Subscribers! So if you only buy ONE report you will get your subscription fee back!
  • Industry-leading Analysis Every Week, Direct to your Inbox.
  • AND Cancel at any time
Subscribe Now

Today Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president of the US, marking the end of the Trump administration. During four years in office, Trump reversed more than 100 environmental regulations, dismantling major climate policies, and rolling back numerous green policies, including many that sought to bring about efficiency in our buildings. This set back the US smart buildings market and the global battle against climate change. So, what can we expect from the incoming administration?

Biden has promised to sign a series of new executive orders that demand congress enacts legislation to establish an enforcement mechanism for milestone environmental targets. He will rejoin the Paris accord and vows to make a historic investment in clean energy and climate research and innovation, which will incentivize the rapid deployment of clean energy innovations across the economy. He has also committed to smart infrastructure investments for buildings, water, transportation, and energy infrastructure to help prevent, reduce, and withstand a rapidly changing climate.

“It will be a starkly different approach to the Trump administration on almost every front,” said Helen Mountford, vice-president for climate at the World Resources Institute. “Science will once again guide America’s policymaking and inauguration day will mark a new era for climate ambition in the US. He will have a lot on his plate but there’s no doubt that Biden intends to make a full-court press on climate change.”

The incoming president has not just made bold campaign promises on climate change, he has set out a broad plan that offers specific actions on buildings, infrastructure, and many other important environmental issues. Through the ‘Green New Deal’ the Biden administration intends to upgrade four million commercial buildings, and return nearly a quarter of the savings from those retrofits to state and local governments. This specifically includes the installation and maintenance of high-efficiency LED lighting, electric appliances, and advanced heating and cooling systems in buildings. Consistently promising to use products manufactured in the US to drive job creation and spur the economy.

Through major investment in energy upgrades for homes, offices, warehouses, and public buildings, the Biden administration expects to create at least one million jobs in construction, engineering, and manufacturing while improving indoor air quality and environmental health. They promise to reform the building code process with the goal of establishing nationwide building performance standards for existing buildings and support this effort with new funding mechanisms for states, local governments, and tribes. The new president will also launch a national effort to modernize schools, driving the construction of energy-efficient campuses, and expand broadband coverage with the specific aim of enabling the adoption of efficient smart devices.

In the residential sector, Biden promises the construction of 1.5 million homes and public housing units that are energy-efficient from the outset and incentivize regional planning that connects housing, transit, and jobs. The new administration will offer direct cash rebates and low-cost financing to upgrade and electrify home appliances, install more efficient windows, and cut residential energy bills. The incoming president will expand building weatherization policies to reach more than two million homes within four years, vowing to reverse the disproportionately high energy burden for low-income rural households and rural communities of color, thereby redrawing the relationship between poverty and efficiency in the US.

Through the Green New Deal, the US is set to get a Green New President that will introduce a wide range of policies that will drive the energy-efficient buildings agenda. In doing so, they will create the foundation for the expansion of smart building systems designed for occupant health, wellness, and productivity. However, the promises of the incoming president are one thing and his ability to enact such change is another thing altogether. Even with a senate majority, the Biden administration will have to overcome entrenched support for fossil fuels in US politics, which sees energy efficiency as fundamentally bad for business. At the heart of this dilemma is an electricity market governed by established and often old-fashioned utilities.

“Key to achieving a successful transition of the electricity market is assigning an appropriate role to utilities. Electric utilities can provide the future platform upon which renewable energy and distributed resources, efficiency, smart building systems, and storage can be integrated to provide clean, reliable services,” reads the Biden-Harris clean energy policy recommendations report. “When considering the importance of the electrification of buildings and transportation to meeting climate goals, the enormous opportunity for utilities to grow their investment and returns in a greening world is apparent.”

Obtaining the full support of utilities for the expansion of renewable energy resources, however, and particularly for the adoption of customer-side, on-site distributed resources such as roof-top solar, energy efficiency, smart energy management systems, and energy storage, will require major policy shifts.

First, utilities must be unbundled, allowing them to focus on building and managing a smart and resilient grid capable of integrating a growing array of smart building solutions. Second, utility revenue collection should be decoupled from sales or consumption by consumers, but any policy with the potential to reduce kilowatt-hours sold will threaten utility management and their shareholders, and therefore face strong resistance.

Today, the US inaugurates a new president with bold promises and a clear intention to tackle climate change, offering huge growth potential to the US smart buildings market. However, this does not represent a victory for the environment or the buildings sector. Instead, today’s inauguration marks the beginning of the path towards a greener and more energy-efficient US economy.

Most Popular Articles

SPIE
Energy

SPIE Technical Facility Management Business 2024 Examined

This Research Note examines the French public company, SPIE and its focus on building solutions, which is one of four strategic markets that the group addresses in central and northern Europe. This article covers the Group’s fields of expertise, its development since 2013 through platform and bolt-on acquisitions and its expansion in the Netherlands, based […]

Infogrid Acquicore Lawsuit
Smart Buildings

Infogrid Faces Lawsuit over 2022 Acquisition of Aquicore

Established in 2018, UK-based smart building firm Infogrid quickly made a splash in the market, picking up a range of high-value customers including banks, supermarkets, and restaurant chains, as well as the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) during the peak of the global pandemic. The firm has attracted $135.5m in investment (including debt financing) from […]

IWMS Spacewell Nemetshek 2023
Smart Buildings

Spacewell Smart Buildings Business & Financials 2023 Examined

In this Research Note, we examine Spacewell, part of the Manage segment of Nemetschek, which provides software for the management and operations phase in the building lifecycle. This article is based on their 2023 annual results, investor presentations, Annual Report of the parent company, published on 21st March 2024 and the group’s strategy in the […]

Subscribe to the Newsletter & get all our Articles & Research Delivered Straight to your Inbox.

Please enter a valid email

Please enter your name

Please enter company name

By signing up you agree to our privacy policy