Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act: Initial Details

August 10, 2021

The bipartisan effort to support infrastructure needs across the U.S. has been announced as the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act. The Senate is presently working through amendments and procedural steps that will culminate in a vote on a final bill to be sent to the House of Representatives.

There will likely be some adjustments and details, but 2,702 pages of legislation have been published with the following features that may impact lighting. In general, the proposed funding covers five years of spending for federal fiscal years 2022-2026. Each fiscal year starts on October 1 of the prior calendar year; in other words, this would start on October 1, 2021.

Major Programs

  • $110 billion for roads, bridges and major surface projects, many of which will include lighting
  • Lighting is specifically mentioned as eligible for “Carbon Reduction Programs” (Section 11403)
  • $500 million total for “Energy Efficiency Improvements” at Public School Facilities (Section 40541), with lighting specifically included
  • $500 million per year for State Energy Programs (Section 40109)
  • $550 million total for Energy Efficiency and Conservation Grant Programs (EECGP)– (Section 40552)
  • Transportation spending for rail, ports, etc., including terminals and sites that will need lighting

Additional Programs

  • $200 million per year for “Safe Streets for All” grants (Section 24112), including funds for planning safer roads, of which lighting could be a part
  • Energy Efficiency Revolving Load Funds (Section 40502): Up to $15 million loans, with terms of up to 15 years, for energy audits and energy upgrades/retrofits
  • $50 million total for a pilot program of grants of up to $200,000 each for non-profit building energy improvement. Lighting is specifically included.

Supporting Programs and Provisions

  • “Build America, Buy America” requirements (Section 70901) formalize the new Made in America Office and initiates a year-long study of all existing procurement exemptions and existing programs to see what the best model may be going forward. U.S. content rate raises from 50% to 55% with potential future changes as high as 75% and potentially expanded U.S. iron and steel requirements.
  • Wage Rate Requirements (Section 41101) incorporating “Davis-Bacon” definition for project wage restrictions
  • Codifies cybersecurity requirements for critical infrastructure and creates a requirement around response from a “Significant Incident” (Sections starting at 40121 and 70601)
  • $225 million total for implementation and training related to adopting updated energy codes (Section 40511)
  • $10 million total to develop a best practice for battery recycling and labeling (Section 70401)
  • Adds “Sustainable Manufacturing” to the U.S. Department of Energy R&D mandates under EPACT (Section 40522)
  • Requires the EPA to give access to the Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey to the Energy Information Administration (Section 40514)

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