Daily Energy Insider: Senate bill would reduce energy, water use in federal buildings

U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced last week a bill to establish energy and water usage reduction goals for federal buildings.

The bill, the Federal Energy and Water Management Performance Act of 2019, is cosponsored by Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI). It would authorize the program to do this – the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP)  – through 2030.

“Increasing energy efficiency is an idea we should all be able to get behind, and the federal government can lead by example by consuming less energy and water,” Murkowski, chairman of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, said. “Our bill lays out goals for federal agencies through 2030, and for the first time formally authorizes the Federal Energy Management Program. This is a prime example of a no-regrets policy that will be good for American families, communities, and our climate all at the same time.”

The bill would set energy use reduction goals in federal buildings of 2.5 percent per year for 10 years and water use reduction goals in federal buildings of 54 percent by 2030. It will also codify FEMP and detail its directives and the duties of its director.

FEMP is a program that provides training, guidance, and technical assistance to enable federal agencies to meet energy-related goals. FEMP works with agencies and stakeholders to facilitate energy and water savings through public-private partnerships. However, it has never been formally authorized.

“We know that one of the smartest ways to reduce emissions and move towards a cleaner energy future is improving our energy efficiency,” Manchin, ranking member on the committee, said. “With forty percent of our nation’s energy consumption attributed to buildings, and the federal government being the largest energy consumer in the nation, it’s common sense to authorize the Federal Energy Management Program at the Department of Energy to help our federal agencies operate in a more energy efficient manner.”

The federal government is the country’s number one energy consumer.

By:  Dave Kovaleski
Source: Daily Energy Insider

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