fnPrime

You Might Like
On FacilitiesNet

News

Federal Government Agrees to Require Purchase of ENERGY STAR Products



Mandated by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, a new set of rules published in the Federal Register is poised to save the the federal government millions in energy costs by requiring federal agencies to procure only ENERGY STAR and FEMP-designated energy-efficient products.


By CP Editorial Staff   Energy Efficiency

Mandated by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, a new set of rules published in the Federal Register is poised to save the the federal government millions in energy costs by requiring federal agencies to procure only ENERGY STAR and FEMP-designated energy-efficient products.

Published in the June 19, Federal Register, the rules would require that only ENERGY STAR and Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) products be used, unless unless such products are not “reasonably” available or would not be cost-effective. Exceptions must be justified in writing and signed by the head of the agency.

“The federal government purchases $10 billion-worth of energy-using products annually,” says Joe Loper Vice President of Research and Analysis for the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE).  “If energy-efficient products use even 10 percent less energy than their standard counterparts, a government shift to more efficient products would save taxpayers millions of dollars per year.”

Federal agencies are already required to procure energy-efficient equipment where possible, according to the Federal Acquisition Regulations and a presidential executive order, but until the passage of EPAct, Congress had not codified those requirements into law. By most accounts, compliance with the procurement requirements has been spotty at best according to Loper, who noted that in publishing the rules, the Department of Energy (DOE) missed a congressionally-mandated deadline by 16 months.

 “This guidance should have been published more than a year ago,” Loper says. “With new energy legislation being introduced in Congress practically every day, it’s vital that DOE implement future energy laws in a more timely fashion. Passing legislation is just the first step.”

The DOE guidance also makes it clear that these energy-efficiency requirements apply to all equipment and appliances installed in newly built or leased federal buildings, including military family housing being constructed and operated under the Defense Department’s Housing Privatization program.

And according to ASE Vice President for Programs Jeffrey Harris, federal government purchasing of energy-efficient products is only the tip of the iceberg. "While the federal government is the world’s largest buyer for most energy-using products, state and local agencies, collectively, buy three to four times as much as federal agencies,” Harris says.

“A growing number of these nonfederal agencies are adopting energy-efficient purchasing policies using the same ENERGY STAR and Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) criteria that are mandatory at the federal level,” Harris says. “The collective buying power of the public-sector is becoming an important market driver for energy efficiency.”




Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »

  posted on 7/11/2007   Article Use Policy




Related Topics: