CHANTILLY, Va. — The Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) is pledging its support behind the Federal Cost Reduction Act, HR 472, which would provide incentives to promote energy-efficiency upgrades in government buildings and reduce the number of data centers the federal government maintains.

The bill also promotes greater use of energy-savings performance contracts, which allow government agencies to contract with private contractors to improve efficiency with minimal upfront costs. It also authorizes agencies to enter into power purchase agreements to increase the use of renewable electricity for federal buildings.

The act would establish a Federal Facility Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Projects Fund in the U.S. Treasury Department, granting assistance for energy-efficiency projects at federal facilities to reduce energy waste.

It would also require the Secretary of Energy to promulgate regulations enabling agencies to retain the savings from utility energy-performance contracts, issue guidance for agencies to achieve energy savings by using energy-efficiency software and power management technology, and issue guidance on a federal energy management and data-collection standard that includes a plan for the General Services Administration (GSA) to publish energy-consumption data for individual facilities.

The bill would also require federal agencies to submit a plan to the secretary on metering their consumption of electricity and authorizes the GSA administrator to update project designs to meet federal energy-efficiency standards. HR 472 would also require the GSA to incorporate commissioning and re-commissioning standards for all real property worth more than $10 million in value, boasting more than 50,000 square feet in size, or producing energy intensity of more than $2 per square foot.

Publication date: 4/29/2013 

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