Center for American Progress

Net-Zero Energy Buildings For the Federal Government

Net-Zero Energy Buildings For the Federal Government

The U.S. Department of Energy must finalize a rule that would make federal government buildings more environmentally friendly.

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idea_bulbCommercial and residential buildings in the United States account for 39 percent of the nation’s carbon pollution through the consumption of fossil-fuel-generated electricity, natural gas, home heating oil, and propane. Therefore, to achieve deep carbon-pollution reductions, the nation’s buildings must become cleaner and more efficient. Fortunately, the technology exists today to eliminate the use of these fossil fuels in U.S. homes and workplaces. By adopting high energy efficiency and onsite renewable energy generation, buildings across the United States are demonstrating that fossil-fuel-generated electricity is no longer a necessity for every building. These buildings—called net-zero energy buildings—can be found in residential neighborhoods, among downtown office buildings, at commercial shopping centers, and in academic institutions.

The federal government is poised to implement net-zero building practices in its new buildings around the country. To make this a reality, the U.S. Department of Energy, or DOE, must now finalize a rule that explains the requirements to federal agencies.

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