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February 2024 Update: State Legislative Activity

Learn more about Wal-Mart's ambitious remodeling plan, the proposed natural gas ban in Chicago, and consider participating in one of the several Federal sector webinars taking place this month!

Webinar Opportunity

SMACNA members are invited to participate in a special webinar, "On Track and Supercharging the Clean Energy Economy." 

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is making significant progress on supercharging our new clean energy economy – and you're invited to a special update on the two-year anniversary of the creation of DOE's Office of Infrastructure.

The session will take place at 12:30 p.m. ET on Friday, February 9, 2024, for a webinar with leaders from across DOE's Office of the Under Secretary for Infrastructure to hear how the department is on track to deliver on historic investments that are creating an affordable, reliable, resilient, secure, and equitable clean energy transition.

The virtual event will feature remarks from Under Secretary for Infrastructure David Crane and Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Infrastructure Dr. Kathleen Hogan. 

A recording will be made available after the webinar for those unable to attend. 

To register:


Federal Funding for Combined Heat & Power

SMACNA members are invited to participate in a national webinar to learn about funding opportunities for combined heat and power projects. Federal programs can help accelerate the deployment of highly efficient and reliable CHP systems in various ways. Our panelists will explore this landscape of opportunities and assist project developers, CHP manufacturers, end-use customers, and others in understanding how they can take advantage. Our focus will be: — Grants from DOE's Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains, which can, for example, fund upgrades to facilities that have undergone assessments with DOE's Onsite Energy TAPs. — The safe harbor deadline for the investment tax credit (ITC) allows project sponsors to benefit from existing credits if they deploy 5% of costs this year. While much remains uncertain about technology-neutral tax credits taking effect next year, companies can immediately benefit from federal funding. 

To register:


Walmart Announces Ambitious 47-State Building & Remodeling Plan 

The world's largest retailer, Walmart, aims to build or convert more than 150 locations by 2029 and remodel 650 stores during the next 12 months. At least 47 states are included in their plan. 

Both new and remodeled Walmart stores will reflect the retailer's "Store of the Future" concept, with improved layouts, expanded product selections, and innovative technology to support associates and make shopping trips more convenient, according to the announcement. 

The store investments come at a time when Walmart has become a dominating force in the grocery sector, driving financial gains and growing market share.


Chicago Proposes Natural Gas Ban for New Buildings 

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson has proposed a ban on natural gas for all new construction in the city. A city employee said this marks the first time Chicago has introduced a building decarbonization ordinance. The proposal drew swift backlash from the local gas industry.

Introduced on January 24, the new ordinance would effectively ban natural gas hookups in new construction and additions over 10,000 square feet. Over a dozen co-sponsors joined Johnson in supporting the legislation. 

This is the first time the City of Chicago has introduced a decarbonization ordinance for our buildings, which account for 68% of Chicago's emissions. 

The Chicago City Council referred the ordinance, which would take effect 12 months after passing, to the Committee on Committees and Rules.

If passed, Chicago would join New York and Seattle in banning natural gas for new construction.