More Than 30 Federal Programs Set to Increase Energy Efficiency

July 7, 2010
Plans from the Obama Administration currently include the integration of energy efficiency and sustainability criteria into competitive grants and funding formulas

The current administration is authorized to play a more active and supportive role in progressing the energy efficiency and sustainability of America’s multi-family and commercial building stock, according to Using Executive Authority to Achieve Greener Buildings: A Guide for Policymakers to Enhance Sustainability and Efficiency in Multifamily Housing and Commercial Buildings, a report released by BOMA, the USGBC, and other organizations.

            The report concluded that, under current executive authority, the Obama Administration has the ability to use more than 30 existing federal programs worth almost $72 billion to enhance efficiency in commercial buildings and multi-family housing – with no new legislation.

An extensive menu of options across an array of programs, which the administration could begin to implement immediately without seeking new funds or authority from Congress, is presented in the report. Some of the most promising options include:

•         Greening federal banking regulations.

•         Promoting Flexibly FHA insurance products, especially Section 241.

•         Integrating energy efficiency and sustainability criteria into competitive grants and funding formulas.

•         Strengthening minimum property standards for federal housing and economic development programs to reflect energy efficiency and sustainability standards.

•         Improving performance standards applicable to federal buildings and leases.

•         Refining guidance applicable to energy-efficient commercial buildings tax deduction and the national preservation tax credit.

•         Using SBA funding mechanisms to support energy-efficiency investments for small businesses.

•         Streamlining Title 17 loan guarantees to make them suitable for buildings.

            To download the full report, visit

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