The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a final rule establishing criteria for federal agencies that choose to employ green building rating systems. The rule, identified as RIN 1904 — AC13, covers new construction and major renovations of federal buildings, including certain residential construction, of $2.5 million or more beginning on October 14, 2015.
The rule does not specify use of any particular certification system, but rather establishes criteria that promote energy-efficient building designs and that focus on energy and water management.
Although it is often goes overlooked, active energy management is critical to ensuring that the energy savings realized in the design and construction of a building are sustained over time. The new rule sets a precedent for active energy and water management by requiring post-occupancy verification of the savings at least every four years. By mandating post-occupancy verification of energy and water savings on a regular basis, the government can be sure that its facilities are performing optimally.
The new rule will have a significant impact on federal energy use, as one-third of the energy used by the federal government is in its buildings. The rule supports DOE’s goal of reducing building energy use in the United States by 50 percent, as well as the Accelerate Energy Productivity 2030 partnership between DOE, the Alliance to Save Energy, and the Council on Competiveness to double U.S. energy productivity by 2030.
“The Department of Energy’s new rule not only continues the sharp trajectory of progress in reducing federal energy waste in buildings, but also cements the government’s role as a key market influencer helping to pave the way to better building design and practices for state and local governments and the private sector,” said Alliance to Save Energy President Kateri Callahan.
The rule becomes effective on November 13, 2014.