Biden administration to develop performance standards for federal buildings

Biden administration to develop performance standards for federal buildings
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The Biden administration announced on Monday that it is taking several actions aimed at making buildings cleaner, including new “performance standards” for federal buildings. 

A fact sheet released by the White House on Monday didn’t give specific details on what exactly the performance standards would entail but said it plans to “establish metrics, targets, and tracking methods to reach federal carbon emissions goals.”

Acting General Services Administration (GSA) Administrator Katy Kale made similar comments during a Monday webinar, saying "this administration and GSA believes in leading by example."

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Meanwhile, the administration will also create new Energy Star standards for heat pumps, central air conditioners and electric water heaters, according to the fact sheet.

Energy Star standards are government-backed indicators of energy efficiency for consumer products. 

The administration also said it is starting an initiative to increase market adoption of efficient water heaters in residential and commercial buildings, expanding partnership programs with the goal of increasing efficient upgrades in underserved homes. 

It’s additionally investing $30 million in workforce development to help fund job creation in areas such as constructing, upgrading and electrifying buildings. 

The Energy Department will put $10 million toward accelerating research and adoption of heat pump technology.  

"These systems use electricity to strategically transfer heat to make spaces cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter and they're a cleaner and more cost-effective alternative to gas-powered furnaces and standard air conditioners," Energy Secretary Jennifer GranholmJennifer GranholmOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Climate divides conservative Democrats in reconciliation push 12 top U.S. officials to join Biden at major climate conference White House weighing steps to address gas shortages MORE said during the webinar. 

President BidenJoe BidenMcAuliffe holds slim lead over Youngkin in Fox News poll Biden signs bill to raise debt ceiling On The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan MORE has previously expressed support for making buildings more energy efficient, calling for investing $213 billion in retrofitting more than 2 million homes in his infrastructure plan. 

This is also not the first time he’s sought to use the federal government as a starting point for moving toward climate goals, previously pledging to replace the government’s vehicle fleet with electric vehicles. 

This story was updated at 5:24 p.m.