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Last Updated August 9, 2023

Program Overview


Regulatory Policy



Incentive Type:

Energy Standards for Public Buildings



Start Date:


Expiration Date:


Web Site:

Applicable Sectors:


Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:



Overall Goals

Goals outlined by President Joe Biden, Executive Order 14057, December 2021:

  • 100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity on a net annual basis by 2030, including 50 percent 24/7 carbon pollution-free electricity.
  • 100 percent zero-emission vehicle acquisitions by 2035, including 100 percent zero-emission light-duty vehicle acquisitions by 2027.
  • A net-zero emissions building portfolio by 2045, including a 50 percent emissions reduction by 2032.
  • A 65 percent reduction in scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions, as defined by the Federal Greenhouse Gas Accounting and Reporting Guidance, from Federal operations by 2030 from 2008 levels.
  • Net-zero emissions from Federal procurement.
  • Climate resilient infrastructure and operations.
  • Climate- and sustainability-focused Federal workforce


In December 2021, President Joe Biden Signed Executive Order 14057, this act built upon Executive Order 14008 signed in January, 2021. These EOs built on previous US policy including the EPAct of 2005 and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. These Acts and OE established goals for federal buildings, fleets, procurement, infrastructure and the workforce, by establishing goals for energy and equipment efficiency, building standards and emissions, overall emissions reductions, and use of zero-emissions electricity.

The federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005) established several goals and standards to reduce energy use in existing and new federal buildings. EO 13423, signed in January 2007, expanded on those goals and standards and was later reaffirmed by congress with the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007). EISA 2007 extended an existing federal energy reduction goal to 30% by fiscal year 2015; directed federal agencies to purchase Energy Star and Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP)-designated products; and required new federal buildings to be built 30% below ASHRAE* standards or the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).

Renewable Electricity

EO 14057 established a goal that federal facilities use 100% carbon pollution-free electricity on a Net Annual basis by 2030, including 50% on a 24/7 basis “produced within the same regional grid where the energy is consumed.” This will require buying directly from utilities, eneterning into power purchase agreements, and developing onsite generation from Federal real property Assets. For more details, see Section 1 of the Federal Sustainability Plan.

Energy Efficiency Goals

Section 431 of EISA 2007 increased the federal energy reduction goal from 2% per year (as established by EPAct 2005) to 3% per year, resulting in 30% greater efficiency by 2015. The reporting baseline for energy savings is 2003, so that energy consumption per gross square foot of federal buildings is reduced, compared to energy consumption in 2003. The specified percentage reductions for each fiscal year are:

  • FY 2006 .......2%
  • FY 2007 .......4%
  • FY 2008 .......9%
  • FY 2009 .......12%
  • FY 2010 .......15%
  • FY 2011 .......18%
  • FY 2012 .......21%
  • FY 2013 .......24%
  • FY 2014 .......27%
  • FY 2015 .......30%

Under EPAct 2005, federal agencies are permitted to retain savings achieved through energy and water reductions. Executive Order 13693 adopted new reduction targets for years after FY 2015, requiring federal buildings to achieve a 2.5% reduction in consumption annually. This EO was revoked by EO 13834, this EO was also revoked by President Biden's EO 14057.

Equipment Efficiency Requirements

Section 104 of EPAct 2005 directed federal agencies to purchase Energy Star and FEMP-designated products when procuring energy-consuming items covered by the Energy Star program, except when purchasing such items is not cost-effective or does not meet functional requirements of the agency. Agencies must also incorporate energy-efficient specifications in procurement bids and evaluations, and must only purchase premium efficient electric motors, air conditioning and refrigeration equipment. EPAct 2005 also instructed the General Services Administration (GSA) and the U.S. Department of Defense to clearly identify and display Energy Star and FEMP-designated products in any inventory, catalog or product listing. 

Building Requirements

Section 109 of EPAct 2005 required new federal buildings to be designed 30% below ASHRAE standards or IECC, to the extent that technologies employed are life-cycle cost-effective. In addition, sustainable design principles must be applied to new and replacement buildings. All agencies must identify new building projects in their budget requests and identify those that meet or exceed the standard. The General Services Administration announced an even stricter requirement stating that all new federal buildings will be designed to achieve the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification, and meet Energy Star standards.

EO 14057 established a goal of reducing by 30% scope 1 emissions in applicable federal facilities. These are all federally owned, EISA-covered facilities (defined in section 432 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) (42 U.S.C. § 8253(f)(2)(B))) located within the US and US territories with scope 1 emissions attributed to standard building operations as of October 1, 2021, and all new facilities that are completed after October 1, 2021.

The Federal Performance Building Standard establishes two pathways to meet this requirement:

  • Performance pathway: Facility achieves zero scope 1 emissions from on-site fossil fuel emissions
  • Prescriptive pathway: Implement all practicable electrification by upgrading system-specific equipment for space heating and domestic/service water heating system types (per Appendix 2). In addition, all cooling, cooking, backup generators used for non-emergency services (e.g., demand response), and laundry loads that do not qualify as an exclusion must be all-electric.

The goal of EO 14057 for buildings is to have a net-zero emissions building portfolio by 2045, including a 50 percent emissions reduction by 2032.

Use of Solar Water Heating

Section 523 of the EISA 2007 requires that at least 30% of the hot water demand for each new federal building or existing federal buildings undergoing a major renovation be met through the use of solar hot water heating, if it is determined to be life-cycle cost-effective.


EO 14057 established procurement requirements for the federal government that will lead to net-zero emissions from procurement by 2050. The Federal Government maintains a portfolio of 300,000 buildings, a fleet of 600,000 cars and trucks, and annual purchasing power of $650 billion in goods and services (Sustainability Plan, Pg. 7). The Net-Zero Goal will be partially achieved through the following measures:

  • In November 2022, the Biden Administration proposed Federal Supplier Climate Risks and Resilience Proposed Rule, which requires major Federal contractors to publicly disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and climate-related financial risks as well as set science-based emissions reduction targets.
  • A Buy Clean initiative for low carbon materials to reduce embodied emissions of manufactured products.
  • Factoring in the social costs of Greenhouse Gas emissions in procurement decisions.
  • Maximize the procurement of sustainable products and services.
  • Establish the Net-Zero Emissions Procurement Federal Leaders Working Group and a Clean Buy Task Force

Vehicle Fleet

Under EO 14057, the federal fleet will transition to zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) with 100% of vehicle aquisitions by 2035, and 100% light-duty acquisitions by 2027. Each agency with a fleet of at least 20 vehicles, including leased and owned vehicles, must develop and annually update a zero-emission fleet strategy. The strategy must include an assessment of agency site and fleet locations; a plan for installation of necessary charging or refueling infrastructure; an assessment of fleet size and composition to determine an optimum fleet inventory; elimination of unnecessary or non-essential vehicles from the agency’s fleet; increasing the proportion of the fleet composed of zero-emission vehicles; and
consideration of energy storage technologies and ancillary services to support vehicle-to-grid technology.

* ASHRAE is the acronym for the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.