The 2030 Challenge, a section of the Energy Independence and Security Act passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Dec. 6, 2007, plans for achieving zero net energy commercial buildings by the year 2030. While the bill has now gone to the Senate for approval, its passing could be a watershed move in energy-conservation legislation.
The California Energy Commission unanimously adopted the California Public Utilities Commission's (CPUC) plan for zero energy residential buildings by 2020 and commercial buildings by 2030. According to The Committee Final Report, "The Energy Commission endorses these ambitious goals and will, with support from CPUC and the utilities, strive to achieve them through successive cycles of the building standards and appliance standards, in combination with other program efforts."
The key passage in Section 433, the part of the bill requiring that all federal buildings meet the energy-performance standards of the 2030 Challenge, states:
... buildings shall be designed so that the fossil-fuel-generated energy consumption of the buildings is reduced, as compared with such energy consumption by a similar building in fiscal year 2003 (as measured by Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey or Residential Energy Consumption Survey data from the Energy Information Agency) by the percentage specified in the following table:
Fiscal Year Percentage Reduction