Over the last few years, there have been a lot of changes around Executive Orders for building improvements. The discussion has been around climate change, clean energy technologies, reducing energy waste, and energy-efficient buildings. While Executive Orders change as the Executive branch changes, people wonder whether their building is compliant, which industries are affected, and what the forecast looks like for the Biden Administration and Executive Orders on building improvements.
In addition to the legislative accomplishments of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct) and the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007, the Executive Branch has taken certain steps over the years to accomplish goals for energy-efficient buildings through Executive Orders.
What are the Executive Orders related to building improvement?
In 2015, President Obama issued EO 13693: Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade. This was part of an effort to promote the federal government as a leader in environmental sustainability. The Order was based around renewable energy, reducing energy intensity, and reducing the federal government’s greenhouse gas emissions before 2025. Specifically, measures were included to promote sustainability in building energy intensity, thermal energy, water utilization, and waste management. Federal Agencies were ordered to ensure that a minimum percentage of the total amount of building electric energy and thermal energy would be renewable electric energy and alternative energy, and that percentage would increase year after year until 2025.
Specifically, the Order included:
- Reduce energy intensity (measured in BTUs per square foot) by 2.5% annually through 2025, compared to a baseline year of FY 2015.
- Use renewable electric energy and alternative energy for 25 percent of total building energy use by FY 2025.
President Obama’s Executive Order was revoked by President Trump in 2018, and was replaced by a new Order. Trump’s Executive Order was issued in May 2018 as Executive Order (EO) 13834: Efficient Federal Operations. The goals were less aggressive for emissions reductions, though the focus remained on efficiency. Federal agencies were directed to make the operations of their vehicles, buildings, and overall production operations more efficient and to optimize their performance, waste, and cost reductions.
In January 2021, Trump’s Executive Order 13834 was revoked by President Biden and replaced with Executive Order (EO) 13990: Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science To Tackle the Climate Crisis.
In April of 2021, Biden made an announcement during the Leaders Summit on Climate Change. This set a new target for the United States to achieve a 50-52% reduction from 2005 levels in economy-wide net greenhouse gas pollution in 2030.
There’s still uncertainty around the timeline, methodology, processes, and roadblocks for Biden’s initiatives, though the foundation seems to be set for new Executive Orders focused on dramatically increased requirements for energy-efficient buildings.
How and when should my businesses become compliant for energy-efficient building?
We don’t know the specifics of how the Biden Administrative Executive Orders will play out yet, though energy efficiency has been a core topic for years now and the move is towards reducing energy waste. With that in mind, it pays to be ahead of the curve and to prepare your business and buildings sooner rather than later. Improving energy efficiency for a building can be costly and time-consuming, so financial planning right away is a good idea.
There are a lot of options for making your building compliant and energy-efficient, and the right choice will depend on things like your budget, timeline, and goals. Window film is a great way to become energy compliant and can even have the fastest payback. For example, NGS solar window film is long-lasting, will drive down energy costs, and has outstanding infrared heat rejection. It can be a cost-effective option for keeping your building energy efficient. There are even CLEAR window films that can reject over 97% of the infrared heat.
To learn more about energy efficiency building standards, here are a couple of resources:
NGS can help you to improve your building’s energy efficiency and keep ahead of the curve with regard to Executive Orders and Legislative Actions. We can find the right window film that will help you reach compliance, and our experts will be on hand to answer any questions you have. Contact us if you have any questions about energy-efficient buildings and how we can help you. Learn more about NGS and our products here.