GSA officials say they are off to a fast start on energy-efficiency projects

General Services Administration officials gave lawmakers an Earth Day gift on Wednesday by assuring them the agency is moving forward quickly on economic stimulus projects to increase energy efficiency in federal buildings.

Paul Prouty, acting GSA administrator, told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee the agency has begun implementing innovative upgrades to federal facilities, such as installing an energy-efficient, blast resistant double glass enclosure around the Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building in Portland, Ore.

GSA also is making smaller, more immediate improvements, Prouty testified. Changes such as installing intelligent lighting systems and replacing flat roofs with greener alternatives can be implemented quickly in hundreds of buildings, he said.

Stimulus funds for green technologies and building improvements offer "an unprecedented and exciting opportunity," Prouty told the panel. He warned, however, that making federal buildings more energy efficient will be an ongoing process. Laws, including the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, require GSA to reduce energy consumption in the buildings it manages by 30 percent by 2015, and gradually decrease use of fossil fuels in new federal buildings until they are carbon-neutral in 2030.

"Although the Recovery Act will accelerate our progress in these areas, it alone will not enable us to meet these goals," Prouty said.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., took aim at skeptics of making energy efficiency a priority during a recession, arguing the federal government must take the lead not only in conservation, but in the creation of jobs through green renovations and construction.

"There needs to be someone showing that, yes, there is a model for everyone else to follow," Boxer said. "I want us to be that model."

Lane Burt, energy policy analyst for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said making facilities greener is the most cost-effective energy solution available, since the building sector is the single largest source of global warming-inducing pollution in the United States.

According to Doug Gatlin, vice president of market development of the U.S. Green Building Council, a 15 percent decrease in energy use at federal facilities could generate more than $650 million in annual savings and eliminate roughly 2.7 million tons of carbon in one year.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.