DOE announces new, stronger Energy Codes for Federal Buildings starting in 2023

March 30, 2022
Altogether, the DOE says, the moves could save 2.2 quadrillion Btus of energy, equivalent to the current usage of 13 million homes for one year.

The U.S. Department of Energy is tightening and upgrading energy codes for federal buildings, an energy efficiency that it contends could save billions in energy use over coming years.

The new federal building code requirement also arrives with proposed new standards for residential air conditioners and pool heaters. Altogether, the DOE says, the moves could save 2.2 quadrillion Btus (British thermal units) of energy, equivalent to the current usage of 13 million homes for one year.

A DOE analysis recommended the changes in adopting the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) to improve energy efficiency in buildings. Following those standards would result in federal site savings of 9.38 percent energy use and $4.2 billion annually in operations cost, according to the report.

“The Biden Administration is leading by example to cut energy use and reduce its carbon footprint by adopting the latest building standards that drive down operating costs and therefore save taxpayer dollars,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm“Coupled with the appliance standards proposed today for American households, DOE is reiterating our commitment to reaching net zero carbon emissions, improving our air quality and keeping more money in the pockets of families across the country.” 

Adoption of the 2021 IECC codes would begin in April 2023.

Statistics on the predominant energy users in the economy indicate that buildings consume close to 40 percent of total energy in the U.S. and emit close to 14 percent of greenhouse gas emissions nationally, according to reports.

Building energy codes can focus on the efficiency of lighting, windows and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

About the Author

Rod Walton, EnergyTech Managing Editor | Senior Editor

For EnergyTech editorial inquiries, please contact Managing Editor Rod Walton at [email protected].

Rod Walton has spent 15 years covering the energy industry as a newspaper and trade journalist. He formerly was energy writer and business editor at the Tulsa World. Later, he spent six years covering the electricity power sector for Pennwell and Clarion Events. He joined Endeavor and EnergyTech in November 2021.

Walton earned his Bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. His career stops include the Moore American, Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, Wagoner Tribune and Tulsa World. 

EnergyTech is focused on the mission critical and large-scale energy users and their sustainability and resiliency goals. These include the commercial and industrial sectors, as well as the military, universities, data centers and microgrids. The C&I sectors together account for close to 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

He was named Managing Editor for Microgrid Knowledge and EnergyTech starting July 1, 2023

Many large-scale energy users such as Fortune 500 companies, and mission-critical users such as military bases, universities, healthcare facilities, public safety and data centers, shifting their energy priorities to reach net-zero carbon goals within the coming decades. These include plans for renewable energy power purchase agreements, but also on-site resiliency projects such as microgrids, combined heat and power, rooftop solar, energy storage, digitalization and building efficiency upgrades.