DOE Implementing Energy Standards for New and Updated Federal Buildings

DOE Federal Buildings Energy

(Credit: Pixabay)

by | Mar 30, 2022

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DOE Federal Buildings Energy

(Credit: Pixabay)

The Department of Energy will require new federal buildings and those with major retrofits to meet certain energy efficiency standards starting next year.

The DOE says beginning in April 2023 all new buildings and significant retrofits constructed by the federal government need to comply with the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code. Additionally, they need to meet 2019 American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers Standard 90.1 building energy codes.

The DOE estimates these measures will save $4.2 million in operating costs the first year the standards are in place, and that the proposed changes will save more than $15 billion in energy costs over the next 30 years. The department says the new requirements build on the US infrastructure law that includes $225 million for state and local implementation of energy codes.

The changes will potentially save 2.2 quads of energy per year, the DOE says. A DOE analysis also found that implementation of the latest IECC building energy codes by states would result in $3.24 billion in annual energy savings.

The standards are part of an increasing scope of the US government’s goals for energy efficiency and carbon neutral goals. Late last year President Joe Biden signed an executive order to make the federal government carbon neutral by 2050.

That order includes a target to make federal buildings net zero by 2045.

The DOE recently implemented updated lightbulb efficiency standards, which it says will save $3 billion in energy costs over the next 30 years and launched programs like IMPEL+, which aims to speed commercialization of technologies to help buildings cut their carbon output. Additionally, the DOE’s Better Buildings, Better Plants program has more than 250 participants involved in energy efficiency efforts.

In addition to the new federal building standards the DOE has proposed rules for residential room air conditioners and pool heaters. The DOE is seeking comments for 60 days and will hold a public meeting to solicit feedback from industry and energy efficiency stakeholders regarding those changes.

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