This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

August 10, 2005

Energy Act to Increase Energy Efficiency in Federal Buildings

The Energy Policy Act of 2005, signed by President Bush on August 8th, will require reduced energy use in federal buildings, federal purchasing of energy efficient products, and more sustainable designs for new federal buildings. And for the first time, the act requires congressional office buildings to meet the same efficiency standards as the rest of the federal government.

The energy act requires federal agencies to cut the energy consumption in their buildings to 20 percent below their energy use in 2003, in terms of energy use per square foot, by 2015. The act allows some exceptions for energy-intensive processes and matters of national security. The act also allows federal agencies to retain the funds not spent because of energy savings, but requires the agencies to invest the funds back into energy efficiency or renewable energy projects. To help agencies pay for energy improvements, the act extends the Energy Savings Performance Contracts program, which allows private companies to pay for the improvements and to be paid back with a portion of the energy savings. The act also requires federal agencies to buy either Energy Star products or products designated as energy efficient by the Federal Energy Management Program.

New federal buildings will be designed to use 30 percent less energy than a building that meets the minimum standards of the International Energy Conservation Code (for homes) or the relevant 2004 standard from the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers. New federal buildings will also have to incorporate water conservation technologies and meet sustainable design principles. See pages 22 to 40 of the energy act (PDF 2.6 MB). Download Adobe Reader.