CAP Calls for Energy Department to Finalize Net-Zero Building Rules as Congress Considers Doubling Down on Fossil Fuels


WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 30, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — In 2007, Congress decided that the federal government would lead by example and improve the efficiency and carbon footprint of all new and majorly renovated federal buildings. Congress set the ambitious but achievable goal of ensuring that all federal buildings constructed in 2030 or later would be net-zero consumers of fossil fuels. A new Center for American Progress issue brief explains the history of this effort and calls on the U.S. Department of Energy, or DOE, to finalize long-overdue rules to set federal agencies up for success in achieving the 2030 goal.

“The federal government is the largest consumer of energy in the United States. Federal buildings account for more than one-third of the U.S. government’s energy use,” said Greg Dotson, CAP Vice President for Energy Policy. “The DOE should act expeditiously to finalize the rules that federal agencies need to lead by example and chart a clear path toward cleaner, smarter, and more energy-efficient buildings.”

In 2010, the DOE released a proposed rule on net-zero buildings that raised some concerns among stakeholders, such as confusion about which types of buildings and renovations would fall under the rule’s purview. In 2014, the DOE released a supplemental proposed rule addressing these stakeholder concerns. CAP is calling on the DOE to finalize these rules, which are more than seven years in the making, as quickly as possible.

Both the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources are considering legislation that would eliminate the federal net-zero building program. Both committees are holding hearings on the bills today.

Click here to read the brief.

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