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Energy Dept. introduces new efficiency standard for federal buildings

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm speaks during a news conference at the White House on November 23. She announced new efficiency standards for federal buildings on Wednesday. File Photo by Oliver Contreras/UPI
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm speaks during a news conference at the White House on November 23. She announced new efficiency standards for federal buildings on Wednesday. File Photo by Oliver Contreras/UPI | License Photo

March 30 (UPI) -- The Energy Department said Wednesday it is introducing new energy efficiency standards for all federal buildings starting next year.

All federal buildings must comply with the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code by April 2023, according to the new standards. Major retrofitting for some buildings will be covered in the codes.

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The department said the new codes could save some $15 billion over the next 30 years and slash the equivalent of 14.4 million homes' carbon emissions.

"The Biden administration is leading by example to cut energy use and reduce its carbon footprint by adopting the latest building standards that drive down operating costs and therefore save taxpayer dollars," Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a statement.

"Coupled with the appliance standards proposed today for American households, DOE is reiterating our commitment to reaching net-zero carbon emissions, improving our air quality and keeping more money in the pockets of families across the country."

The Energy Department said it is also proposing new standards for residential room air conditioners and pool heaters to help consumers save on their utility bills.

"When U.S. homes purchase over seven million room air conditioners each year -- critical equipment to help communities cope with increasingly common and extreme heat events -- the potential benefits to households from these proposed standards are immense," the department said in a statement.

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Department officials said if new rules are adopted, those who purchase air conditioners with the new standards will save up to $275 over the life of the product while pool heater purchases can save up to $1,000.

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