Hoeven Introduces Bill to Enhance Energy Efficiency in Federal Buildings, Provide Flexibility in Energy Sources

WASHINGTON – Senators John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, today reintroduced their bipartisan legislation, the All-of-the-Above Federal Building Energy Conservation Act of 2018, which would provide flexibility to help the federal government achieve its energy efficiency goals. The bill would allow federal buildings to continue using efficient fuels that would otherwise be phased out, like natural gas, while also enhancing the energy efficiency standards for federal buildings.

“Promoting energy efficiency helps reduce costs over time while also improving environmental stewardship,” Hoeven said. “We can achieve this goal in a cost-effective way, but not with one-size-fits-all mandates. Our bill creates flexibility for federal building managers, ensuring both new and existing facilities have significantly reduced energy consumption and deliver a good value to taxpayers.”

Hoeven’s bill would improve the federal government’s energy efficiency by:

  • Promoting a more flexible and cost-effective energy mix when working to achieve energy efficiency goals by repealing the Section 433 ban on the use of fossil fuels in federal buildings.
  • Encouraging the use of energy management systems for facilities.
  • Reducing frequency of energy audits for well-managed buildings, ensuring a greater focus on buildings that still need improvements.
  • Strengthening the recommissioning of existing facilities, a proven, low-cost method for optimizing building systems and reducing energy use.
  • Directing facility managers to implement all cost-effective energy efficiency measures that are identified in energy audits, unless they can justify otherwise.
  • Ensuring major renovations bring existing facilities up to the standards set for new federal buildings, which is 30 percent less energy use than code. The Department of Energy would define major renovation through an open comment process.