On August 3, 2022, a mere week before the Inflation Reduction Act was finalized, U.S. General Services (GSA) Administrator Robin Carnahan, White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Chair Brenda Mallory, and Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) gathered at the Sam Nunn Federal Center in Atlanta. Together they announced new energy and water efficiency investments for the state, to ensure that the carbon footprint in Georgia is more sustainable and cost-effective moving forward.
Additionally, Administrator Carnahan announced a $117 million Utility Energy Service Contract (UESC) award that will provide efficiency improvements in 12 Georgia federal buildings. The federal government is taking the lead in ensuring carbon neutrality by 2030 by affording government buildings the financial backing to have necessary upgrades. This funding will insulate or replace windows, upgrade HVAC systems, and much more.
The GSA recently announced that it had achieved a 51% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from GSA-owned buildings. This reduction. of more than a million metric tons annually, represents the equivalent of taking 223,000 gas fueled automobiles off the road annually. GSA has also avoided over $638 million dollars in energy costs since 2008 through energy efficiency improvements and other upgrades. The monetary savings alone is enough of a motivator to continue the process.
The GSA’s Green Proving Ground for Emerging Technologies to Reduce Carbon Emissions
If you are unfamiliar with the U.S. General Service Administration (GSA), it is an organization that was initiated by the U.S. Department of Energy specifically for administering national energy policy. The Department of Energy was implemented in 1977 to further the cause of energy efficiency within the United States via renewable energy.
In turn, the GSA initiated the Green Proving Ground Program (GPG) in October 2010. The GPG tests various energy efficiency solutions for both validity and exactness. Once products have been approved, the federal government, as well as the general public, may rest assured that these products are obtaining the claims provided by the manufacturers regarding productivity and energy efficiency. Thereafter, those corporations and individuals, as well as the federal government may implement these products with confidence that they are supporting carbon neutrality.
GSA Funding to Improve Energy Efficiency in Georgia
The state of Georgia may now be ahead of the game with the funding that the GSA allocated for the region. The monies will extend past federal buildings and will also include subsidies for electricity that is supported by wind or solar power. Additionally, the Inflation Reduction Act includes a $72 million investment for system and infrastructure improvements at the Sam Nunn Federal Center in Atlanta. Bringing federal buildings up to par with the “carbon neutral by 2030” goal will convey the seriousness of the matter to the public and act as an example for commercial building owners across the country.
The assurance that green energy would also provide new, well-paying jobs was also mentioned at the conference in Atlanta. GSA Administrator Carnahan stated, “The investments we’re making here in Georgia demonstrate how investing in sustainability is a triple win – creating good-paying clean-energy jobs, reducing energy costs, and tackling climate change to ensure a healthier future for the next generation.”
Atlanta is no stranger to smog and pollution. Second, only to Los Angeles for rush hour traffic, the area has long experienced dangerously high air conditions. The new Inflation Reduction Act includes significant incentives for electric car purchases that could also make a positive impact on the state. As one of the largest cities in the Southeast, and home to one of the busiest airports in the country, Atlanta is a natural choice in charging the way to carbon neutrality.
Improve Building Energy Efficiency with Green Proving Ground Finalist, NGS
GSA Administrator Carnahan also gave NGS an honorable mention regarding our current consideration under the Green Proving Ground Program at the Atlanta conference. We are not the only ones excited about the difference that solar window film can make for a building’s carbon energy output. The impact on both government buildings, as well as commercial buildings, is continuing to flourish.
At NGS, we look forward to continuing to pave the way in solar window film solutions across the country. We may have gotten our start in Atlanta, but we have now serviced every state in the U.S. as well as numerous locations in Canada and Mexico. Will your property be next? Only you can decide.
For more information on how carbon taxes on commercial buildings will affect your business moving forward watch our webinar, “What Carbon Taxes Mean for Commercial Buildings.”
Feature image by Stephen Cook