Slipstream and partners awarded U.S. Department of Energy project to advance energy codes in Wisconsin

August 14, 2023 by Zack Mast

Slipstream and a team of state and regional partners have received a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) award to advance the development, adoption, and compliance of energy codes in Wisconsin. The award is part of the DOE's Resilient and Efficient Codes Implementation awards, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, to ensure the nation's buildings meet the latest standards for energy efficiency.

Slipstream, the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS), Clean Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Local Government Climate Coalition (WLGCC), Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA), and New Buildings Institute (NBI) link arms to strengthen Wisconsin’s ability to enact residential and commercial energy codes that reduce energy use and bring the state closer to meeting its clean energy goals.

Wisconsin has gained momentum toward climate action since the state released its ambitious Clean Energy Plan in 2022 and has amassed a network of local governments eager to adopt policies that can make an environmental impact. This project will build on this traction to accelerate building performance in Wisconsin, which has lagged other Midwest states in the energy performance required of its buildings.

Slipstream and its partners will explore three main strategies:

  1. Strengthen the code development process. The project team will engage diverse stakeholders to develop technical and educational materials that enhance Wisconsin’s code adoption process. With stronger technical guidance and more resources, Wisconsin will be better equipped to adopt the most recent model codes for residential and commercial buildings and provide a more transparent process moving forward.
  2. Gather insights and inform allies to break down barriers to code compliance. Our team will conduct a compliance baseline study to gather information that will help us target efforts to increase code compliance across the state. A new Codes Compliance Collaborative will convene to increase the reach of engagement efforts, and DSPS will bolster its resources to perform industry outreach and other critical support.
  3. Support local governments to advance building policy. In Wisconsin, local governments are not allowed to adopt building standards that exceed those of the state codes. Without a stick to enforce higher performance, municipalities could use a carrot to entice builders and building owners to adopt advanced measures. Our project team will equip local officials with roadmaps and technical guidance to pass policies such as voluntary stretch codes and building performance standards.

Among the other DOE awards, Slipstream also joins a project led by ClearlyEnergy. The goal of the project is to increase adoption, implementation, and ongoing support for building performance standard (BPS) programs in communities defined as small or rural communities and/or jurisdictions with Justice40 tracts. Slipstream will conduct utility attribution research and help implement a cohort model to increase investment, create jobs, and advance equitable development in historically underserved communities.

See the full press release here.

Media Contacts

Slipstream: Zack Mast
Digital Content Strategist

Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services: John Beard
Communications Director

Clean Wisconsin: Amy Barrilleaux
Communications Director

Clean Wisconsin: Allison Carlson
Executive Director