President Joe Biden aims to retrofit four million buildings and two million homes during his first term. The White House says the administration’s new Building Performance Standards Coalition signals progress toward that goal. The partnership includes 33 state and local governments striving to deliver cleaner, healthier and more affordable buildings. Jeff Weaver, president of Clarkston Window and Door in Pontiac, Mich., is cautiously optimistic.

“It appears to be a win-win for the environment and window industry,” Weaver says. “Hopefully federal expenses do not exceed the environmental benefit of the program.”

Michigan—Weaver’s state of operation—is included in the new initiative. According to the coalition, nearly 20% of the nation’s building footprint falls within the coalition’s jurisdictions. The partnership looks to facilitate “new commitments to design and implement building performance standards at the state and local level, create good-paying, union jobs, lower energy bills for consumers, keep residents and workers safe from harmful pollution and cut emissions from the building sector.” Coalition members include:

  • State of Colorado
  • State of Washington
  • Ann Arbor, Mich.
  • Annapolis, Md.
  • Aspen, Colo.
  • Atlanta, Ga.
  • Boston, Mass.
  • Cambridge, Mass.
  • Chicago, Ill.
  • Chula Vista, Calif.
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Denver, Colo.
  • Evanston, Ill.
  • Fort Collins, Colo.
  • Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • Ithaca, N.Y.
  • Kansas City, Mo.
  • Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Milwaukee, Wis.
  • Montgomery County, Md.
  • New York, N.Y.
  • Orlando, Fla.
  • Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Portland, Ore.
  • Prince George’s County, Md.
  • Reno, Nev.
  • Sacramento, Calif.
  • Saint Louis, Mo.
  • San Francisco, Calif.
  • Savannah, Ga.
  • Seattle, Wash.
  • Washington, D.C.

Greg Ramel is the president of Window Concepts of Minnesota Inc. in Saint Paul, Minn., and his state is on the outside looking in. Ramel says Minnesota’s involvement in future federal opportunities could be beneficial.

“If the government comes out with a program to help consumers fix up their homes [and] make their homes more energy efficient—without them having to cover the entire cost of that project—that would be a positive thing. There are many homes out there that take a lot more energy to maintain the temperature inside than they should.”

Minnesota isn’t involved in the freshly-announced plan, but the state’s energy programs are vast due to a varying climate.

“We’re a state that’s 20 below zero in the winter time and 100 degrees in the summer time,” Ramel says. “We have a wide range of temperatures here, so you need homes that are more energy efficient. You have extreme heating and cooling needs.”

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