U.S. President Joe Biden and First lady Jill Biden walk on the South Lawn of the White House on October 24. The Biden administration announced federal building standards Wednesday aimed at lowering energy costs and cutting emissions. File Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo
Dec. 7 (UPI) -- The Biden-Harris administration Wednesday announced the first federal building standards designed to reduce energy use while electrifying equipment and appliances in 30% of federal building space by 2030.
"As the country's single largest energy consumer and building manager, these new actions will save taxpayer dollars by reducing energy use while cutting millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions, increasing resilience, strengthening U.S. energy independence, and growing the jobs of the future in America," the White House said in a statement.
The White House also said Wednesday that California has joined the National Building Performance Standard Coalition, a nationwide group of more than 30 state and local governments committed to reducing emissions from existing buildings.
According to the White House, with these new steps, a fourth of all commercial, federal and multifamily buildings in the United States are now either covered by or moving toward sustainable building performance standards.
The U.S. Department of Energy is also proposing rules that would electrify new federal buildings and those undergoing renovations.
The Council on Environmental Quality Federal Building Performance Standard requires agencies to cut energy use and electrify equipment to cut fossil fuel use and carbon emissions.
"To reach that mark, agencies will be buying American-made products such as heat pumps, electric water heaters, and other energy efficiency and building system technologies supported by the Inflation Reduction Act," the White House statement said.
The proposed Energy Department rule would establish emissions reduction targets for new and renovated federal buildings, projecting a savings of $8 million per year in building costs.
According to the White House, energy used in federal buildings for space heating, water cooling, cooking and other needs amount to over 25% of federal emissions.