Regulations to Increase Energy Efficiency in New Federal Buildings

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has established regulations that require new federal buildings to achieve at least 30 percent greater energy efficiency over prevailing building codes. Mandated by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct), these standards apply to new federal commercial and multi-family high-rise residential buildings, as well as new federal low-rise residential buildings designed for construction that began on or after Jan. 3, 2007.

These standards are also 40 percent more efficient than the current Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and carry out portions of President Bush's Executive Order (EO #13423), announced earlier this year, which directed federal agencies to reduce energy intensity and greenhouse gas emissions; substantially increase use and efficiency of renewable energy technologies; and adopt sustainable design practices.

"Dramatically elevating building efficiency standards to these unprecedented levels substantially transforms the way the federal government manages and uses energy," said Andy Karsner, DOE assistant secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. "These standards contribute to sound and stable efficiency policy that will yield real, substantive energy savings and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions."

Over the course of the next 10 years, these standards are estimated to save taxpayers $776 million dollars (in 2004 dollars) and more than 40 trillion British thermal units of energy, while reducing emissions by an estimated 2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. Specifically, these standards replace existing Federal building energy efficiency standards found in 10 CFR Part 434 (for commercial and high-rise multi-family residential buildings) and 10 CFR Part 435 Subpart C (for low-rise residential buildings).

These new standards are based on the American National Standards Institute/American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers/Illuminating Engineering Society of North America Standard 90.1-2004 for commercial and high-rise multi-family residential buildings and the 2004 version of the International Code Council (ICC) International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for low-rise residential buildings.

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