News Brief

Feds to Raise Renewable Energy Use and Install More Meters

Behind Obama’s executive order to nearly triple renewables used by federal agencies also lie new requirements for energy metering and disclosure.

Obama’s executive order directs federal agencies to pursue onsite renewable energy projects like the solar roof on the Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building in Portland, Oregon.

Photo: Jeremy Bittermann
A recent executive order issued by President Obama directs every federal agency to source 20% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2020 and institute new energy-metering and reporting practices.

The target currently in place instructs government agencies to source 7.5% of their electricity from renewable sources, but the new order aims to nearly triple that share within the next seven years. Agencies are held to the 20% goal to the extent that measures are “economically feasible and technically practicable,” according to a White House memorandum; however, installing renewable energy onsite and retaining renewable energy certificates is recommended over purchasing certificates.

In addition to the boost for renewables, the order also holds significance for energy-management practices. Federal agencies are directed to install energy and water meters on their buildings and to enter monthly performance data into the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager. Annual benchmarks must be disclosed to the public through the Department of Energy’s tracking website, and participation in demand-response programs must be considered.

These measures drew praise from Rick Fedrizzi, president of the U.S. Green Building Council, who commended Obama for “insisting on integrating smarter energy-management best practices across the federal government” and “accelerating innovative energy-efficiency initiatives.”

Published December 30, 2013

Pearson, C. (2013, December 30). Feds to Raise Renewable Energy Use and Install More Meters. Retrieved from

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