Bipartisan bill aims to have federal buildings adopt new energy efficient technologies

February 17, 2012

Election years are rarely a time when an innovative bill will be introduced in Congress, but a recent proposal by Congressman Charles Bass of New Hampshire could help to push the government to adopt new energy efficiency technologies on federal buildings, according to The Energy Collective.

The news source reported that the "Smart Energy Act" is a bill that is aimed at leveraging the federal government's 445,000 buildings to act as a "first adopter" of new and innovative energy efficiency technologies as a model for the rest of the country.

This idea of using existing building stock to promote and test energy efficient buildings and technology is what the U.S. Department of Energy had in mind when it designated an innovation HUB in Pennsylvania for this sector.

The Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster for Energy Efficient Buildings (GPIC) is an effort that relies on the brightest minds in the region and the energy sector to design and develop technologies to help reduce energy consumption for commercial buildings. These would eventually be implemented and used on the sufficient building stock that exists in the area.

The Energy Collective reported that once innovative technology is developed, tested, piloted and demonstrated, one thing usually remains an issue. The obstacle that usually exists is finding a customer to take the initial risk.

The federal government can enact programs to help spur this type of change, as the GPIC and "Smart Energy Act" are examples of how a push by Washington can help to support innovation.

"Improving energy efficiency is a vital part of reaching our goal and strategy to achieve energy independence and security, and providing more opportunities for private industry to utilize energy efficient technologies and systems will spur advancements in this field while at the same time cutting our energy costs," said Bass, according to a release by Ingersoll Rand in support of the act. "Starting with the federal government as a 'first adopter' of these practices will help to encourage new investments and save taxpayer money. I thank Ingersoll Rand for their support of this critical legislation and their efforts to promote effective energy policies in our nation."

The release noted that the nation should consider the adoption of energy efficient buildings and technologies paramount to growth, as these structures can account for as much as 40 percent of the overall energy consumption in the U.S.

The Energy Collective reported that the bill is complimentary to what President Barack Obama said in the State of the Union address.