Obama Mandates Reduction in Federal Agency Energy Usage

April 15, 2015 Written by  Comments Print
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President Obama issued an executive order last month that requires federal agencies to cut greenhouse gas emissions 40% over the next 10 years. Learn more about the order, as well as other efforts the administration is making in the green energy sphere, in our blog.  

The order requires all federal agencies to cut greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2025, and builds on a previous executive order issued by the administration in 2009, which required a 17% cut in greenhouse gases and a 9% increase in renewable energy use.

According to the Federal Times, the new executive order also requires federal agencies to:

  • Ensure 25 percent of their total energy use is from clean energy sources by fiscal 2025.

  • Cut back energy use in federal buildings by 2.5 percent a year between fiscal 2015 and 2025.

  • Reduce emissions from federal fleets by 30 percent by 2025 and increase the number of zero emission and hybrid vehicles in agency fleets.

  • Reduce their water use per square foot in federal facilities by 2 percent a year through 2025.

  • Increase the amount of renewable energy they use to 30 percent of overall energy use.

What kind of an impact will this have? According to the White House, agencies will save $18 billion on energy costs over the next 10 years and, when combined with commitments made by federal contractors, “will reduce emissions by 26 million metric tons by 2025 from 2008 levels, the equivalent of taking nearly 5.5 million cars off the road for a year.”

Other Energy Moves by the Administration

In addition to this executive order, the Obama administration has made a number of other efforts on energy-related projects in 2015.

Federal Budget Proposal

At the 2015 State of the Union address, Obama stated “No challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.” His budget proposal backs up this statement, with funding for a number of clean energy-related projects, including:

  • $7.4 billion for clean energy technologies to “advance the construction of clean solar and wind energy sites, as well as further the development of carbon capture and storage, geothermal energy and fuel cell technology.”

  • $4 billion “to encourage states to make even larger cuts to carbon pollution from power plants at a faster pace than required.”

  • A 55.6% increase in the budget of the EPA.

  • $325 million for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), to research projects including long-range car batteries and making fuel from bacteria.

Energy Aid to the Caribbean

Much of the focus of President Obama's trip to the Caribbean has been on the Summit of the Americas in Panama and improving relations with Cuba, but the president also made a stop in Jamaica. During the first visit to the country by a U.S. president since 1982, Obama offered $20 million to fund green energy investments, including “a 20 megawatt solar farm and...the island's largest private wind-energy project.”

Stay with our blog for all of the latest news on the energy industry. In addition, learn how greeNEWit is committed to supporting our local, state, and federal government in efforts to improve energy efficiency.

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