Press Release

Welch, Shaheen, Coons Urge Department of Energy to Swiftly Implement Policy to Improve Energy Efficiency, Slash Emissions, and Save Taxpayers Money

Nov 1, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senators Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), and Chris Coons (D-Del.) wrote a letter to Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm urging the Department of Energy (DOE) to implement federal building energy efficiency requirements included in the Energy Act of 2020 (EA2020) as quickly as possible to help reduce emissions from the nation’s building stock. The Senators also requested an update on the Department’s plans to implement these provisions. 

“We appreciate the work the Biden Administration has done to address energy usage at federal facilities, which account for 25% of the government’s direct emissions, and support the President’s ambitious goal of reaching net-zero emissions in all federal buildings by 2045. DOE has taken important steps to meet these goals, including issuing an efficiency rule that will fully decarbonize new buildings and renovations by 2030—drastically slashing emissions and saving taxpayers up to a projected $8 million in upfront equipment costs. The Energy Savings Performance Contracting Campaign that DOE recently announced will support efficiency at the state and local government levels as well,” wrote the Senators. “We applaud these efforts and look forward to seeing them implemented. 

“However, more must be done to improve energy efficiency in federal buildings and meet our climate goals—which is why we urge the Department to quickly implement provisions of EA2020 that require agencies to implement all cost-effective measures after facility efficiency audits and require 50% of these measures to be completed with performance contracts. These measures will help reduce emissions from our nation’s building stock as quickly as possible,” the Senators continued. “We look forward to collaborating with DOE and the administration to improve energy efficiency, slash emissions, and save taxpayers money.” 

The Energy Act of 2020 included the Energy Savings Through Public-Private Partnerships Act, a bill sponsored by then-Representative Welch and Senators Shaheen and Coons which requires the federal government to implement efficiency upgrades identified in evaluations that are found to be cost-effective. The legislation also required that 50% of the upgrade measures be done via performance contracting—a mechanism the Administration can use to more quickly and cost-effectively upgrade the efficiency of the federal building stock. 

The full text of the letter can be found here.