The West side of the US Capitol Building

The DOE has issued a final rule establishing standards for green building rating systems that provide certification for federal buildings.

On October 10, 2014, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a final rule establishing standards for green building certification systems to strengthen federal buildings’ energy management through enhanced energy use measurement and energy efficient design.  The final rule will take effect on November 13.  DOE has also issued a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking seeking additional comment on its proposed rule to phase in new federal building constructions and major renovations that significantly reduce non-renewable energy consumption; the comment period will end on December 15.


Green building rating systems are used to advance federal building performance through modernized, integrated building systems that minimize inefficiencies and waste and augment cost-saving benefits.  The final rule establishes criteria that must be met by federal agencies that choose to use a green building rating system.  It requires verified energy and water performance for new and retrofitted federal buildings certified by private sector green building rating systems.  It requires re-assessments at least every four years ensuring that energy and water savings will continue beyond the building opening or renovation.  System requirements to verify sustainability and energy standards will facilitate active energy and water management to reduce consumption.

The final rule implements a provision in the Energy Conservation and Production Act which requires the DOE to identify a green building certification system based on the General Services Administration’s review of third-party green building certification systems and levels and criteria outlined in the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act.  In May 2010, the DOE published a notice of proposed rulemaking that addressed the use of sustainable design principles and water conservation technologies to achieve energy efficiency in federal buildings.

Among DOE’s sustainability efforts, the recent update to the Federal Building Energy Use Benchmarking Guidance designates the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star Portfolio Manager as the sole benchmarking tool for federal agencies.  As part of its energy measurement efforts, DOE will soon release guidance for federal building metering that will enable agencies to meet federal goals to reduce energy and water consumption.

Originally published by EnerKnol.

EnerKnol provides U.S. energy policy research and data services to support investment decisions across all sectors of the energy industry. Headquartered in New York City, EnerKnol is proud to be a NYC ACRE company.