Natural Gas Utilities Support Effort to Improve Energy Efficiency of Federal Buildings

News Release

Natural Gas Utilities Support Effort to Improve Energy Efficiency of Federal Buildings

Washington, D.C. – The American Gas Association (AGA) today joined partners in the energy and efficiency community in a letter to Senators John Hoeven (R-ND) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) in support of S.1020, the All-Of-The-Above Federal Building Energy Conservation Act of 2013, to improve the energy efficiency of federal buildings.

“We greatly appreciate your leadership in building broad support behind a legislative package that will ensure that the federal government demonstrates best practices in reducing wasted energy and wasted taxpayer money” the letter states.

S. 1020 would strengthen existing federal energy efficiency provisions to ensure greater energy savings in federal buildings and also replace a part of Section 433 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 that requires reduction in fossil fuel-generated energy use in new and renovated federal buildings.  There are concerns that Section 433 as written could discourage comprehensive energy efficiency renovations, stifle innovation and result in increased energy costs for the federal government. Replacing the fossil fuel ban in Section 433 could allow the federal government to use more cost effective solutions – such as high-efficiency natural gas space heating and combined heat and power applications – for achieving energy efficiency gains.

The new legislation would extend current energy efficiency targets and help ensure that alterations and additions to federal buildings meet minimum energy efficiency requirements, encourage the use of energy management systems and provide for those systems’ proper operation. These provisions would give federal building energy managers flexibility to achieve reductions in federal energy consumption in a cost-effective manner, encourage the adoption of energy efficient technologies and practices, and spur the retrofits of federal buildings – while leveraging abundant domestic natural gas and efficient technologies. The enhancements are consistent with the President’s “all of the above” energy strategy.

The letter was co-signed by Alliance to Save Energy, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, ‎American Public Gas Association, American Public Power Association, Edison Electric Institute, Federal Performance Contracting Coalition, Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association, National Association of Energy Service Companies and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.