Building Energy Use

These laws and requirements are related to building energy use sustainability goals. Note: This page will be updated soon with information about Executive Order 13834: Efficient Federal Operations, which was signed on May 17, 2018, and replaced and revoked Executive Order 13693.

Agency Energy Intensity
Title  Legal Authority  Originating Legislation  Summary 
Building Energy Intensity Reduction (1)

Subject to certain exclusions, each Federal agency must reduce the energy consumption per gross square foot of its Federal buildings relative to a fiscal year (FY) 2003 baseline by 27% by 2014 and by 30% by FY 2015.

Definitions
Title  Legal Authority  Originating Legislation  Summary 
Definitions (1)

Defines agency, construction, cogneration facilities, energy conservations measures, energy survey, Federal building, life cycle cost, renewable energy source, and secretary.

Definitions (2)

Defines agency, facility energy supervisor, trained energy manager, task force and energy conservation measure.

Existing Buildings
Title  Legal Authority  Originating Legislation  Summary 
Non-Major Renovations

Large capital energy investments that are not classified as “major renovations” but involve the replacement of installed equipment (or involves renovation, rehabilitation, expansion, or remodeling) should employ the most energy-efficient designs, systems, equipment and controls that are life cycle cost-effective.

Facility Assessments
Title  Legal Authority  Originating Legislation  Summary 
Benchmarking of Federal Facilities

Agencies are required to enter energy use data for each metered covered facility into a building energy use benchmarking system.

Definition of Covered Facilities

Defines "covered facilities" to include central utility plants and distribution systems and other energy intensive operations that constitute at least 75% of facility energy use. (Disclaimer: This is not a general definition of covered facilities nor is it applicable outside of this specific statutory context.) 

Energy Management Training

Each department and agency listed in subsection (a)(1) of section 8262c shall report to DOE on the status and implementation of the requirements of this section. 

Energy and Water Evaluations

Agency energy managers are required to complete an annual comprehensive energy and water evaluation for approximately 25% of agency covered facilities in a manner that ensures that an evaluation of such facility is completed at least once every four years.

Follow-up on Implemented Measures

For each measure implemented under 42 U.S.C. § 8253(f)(4), agencies are required to ensure that equipment is fully commissioned at acceptance to be operating at design specifications; a plan for appropriate operations, maintenance, and repair of the equipment is in place at acceptance and is followed; equipment and system performance is measured during its entire life to ensure proper operations, maintenance, and repair; and energy and water savings are measured and verified.

Implementation of Identified Energy and Water Efficiency Measures

Not later than two years after the completion of each evaluation under 42 U.S.C. § 8253(f)(3), each agency may implement any energy- or water-saving measure that was identified as life cycle cost-effective and bundle individual measures of varying paybacks together into combined projects.

Recommissioning and Retrocommissioning

As part of the evaluation under 42 U.S.C. § 8253(f)(3)(A), energy managers are required to identify and assess recommissioning measures (or if the facility has never been commissioned, retrocommissioning measures) for the facility.

Web-Based Certification

For each covered facility, an agency is required to use a Web-based tracking system to certify compliance with the requirements for energy and water evaluations under 42 U.S.C. § 8253(f)(3), implementation of identified energy and water measures under 42 U.S.C. § 8253(f)(4), and follow-up on implemented measures under 42 U.S.C. § 8253(f)(5).

Leased Buildings
Title  Legal Authority  Originating Legislation  Summary 
ENERGY STAR Requirement for Leases

With certain exceptions, Federal agencies are not to enter into a contract to lease space in a building that has not earned the ENERGY STAR label in the most recent year.

Efficiency of Space

In leasing buildings for its own use or that of another agency, each agency is required to fully consider the efficiency of all potential building space at the time of renewing or entering into a new lease.

New Construction or Modernization
Title  Legal Authority  Originating Legislation  Summary 
Agency Procedures

The head of each Federal agency is required to adopt procedures necessary to assure that new Federal buildings meet or exceed the Federal building energy standards established under 42 U.S.C. § 6834.

Contractor-Operated Facilities

Each agency, in consultation with the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council, is to establish criteria for the improvement of energy efficiency in Federal facilities operated by Federal government contractors or subcontractors.

Energy Efficiency

If life cycle cost-effective, new Federal buildings must be designed to achieve ASHRAE 90.1 energy consumption levels and 30% below such levels. The version of ASHRAE 90.1 that Federal agencies must use depends on when design for construction begins.

Expenditure of Federal Funds

The head of a Federal agency may expend Federal funds for the construction of a new Federal building only if the building meets or exceeds the Federal building energy standards established under 42 U.S.C. § 6834.

Fossil Fuel Reduction

New Federal buildings and major renovations of existing buildings are to reduce fossil fuel-generated energy consumption by 55% in fiscal year (FY) 2010, 65% in FY 2015, 80% in FY 2020, 90% in FY 2025, and 100% in FY 2030, compared to a FY 2003 baseline.

Life Cycle Cost Methods and Procedures

The design of new Federal buildings shall be made using life cycle cost methods and procedures established under 42 U.S.C. § 8254(a). 

Metering Requirements

Agencies are required to install metering and advanced metering devices in Federal buildings in accordance with U.S. Department of Energy metering guidelines.

Predevelopment Hydrology

The sponsor of any development or redevelopment project involving a Federal facility with a footprint that exceeds 5,000 square feet is required to use site planning, design, construction, and maintenance strategies for the property to maintain or restore, to the maximum amount technically feasible, the predevelopment hydrology of the property with regard to the temperature, rate, volume, and duration of flow.

Solar Hot Water

If life cycle cost-effective, 30% of of hot water demand in new Federal buildings undergoing major renovations must be met with solar hot water.

Sustainable Design Principles

New Federal buildings and major renovations of existing buildings are to apply sustainable design principles to the siting, design, and construction of such buildings.

Presidential Memorandum
Title  Legal Authority  Originating Legislation  Summary 
Presidential Memorandum: Federal Leadership on Energy Management (Metering)

The December 2013 Presidential Memorandum: Federal Leadership on Energy Management, which was issued to the heads of executive departments and agencies, says that each Federal agency shall continue installation of additional building energy meters, submeters and water meters where cost effective and appropriate.

Site Planning
Title  Legal Authority  Originating Legislation  Summary 
Predevelopment Hydrology of a Facility

The sponsor of any development project involving a Federal facility with a footprint exceeding 5,000 square feet must use planning, design, construction, and maintenance strategies to maintain or restore the predevelopment hydrology of the property in terms of temperature, rate, volume, and duration of flow.