On March 19, 2015, the White House issued an executive order directing federal agencies to reduce their direct greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions by at least 40 percent from 2008 levels by 2025 (“Executive Order”). The Executive Order also directs federal agencies to increase the use of renewable energy by its buildings by at least 30 percent by 2025. According to the Executive Order, agencies must begin complying with the various reductions and mandates in fiscal year 2016.
In order to implement the 40 percent reduction of GHG emissions by federal agencies, the Executive Order requires federal buildings to reduce energy consumption by 2.5 percent annually, based on 2015 levels, by 2025. In addition, the Executive Order mandates that 25 percent of all the federal agencies’ electric and thermal energy for buildings come from “clean energy sources” by 2025. Furthermore, the Executive Order directs federal agencies to reduce overall water consumption by 36 percent by 2025 through two percent annual reductions relative to a 2007 baseline, and reduce GHG emissions from agency vehicles by not less than 30 percent by 2025.
In a fact sheet released with the Executive Order, the White House argued that the Executive Order will result in the reduction of 26 million metric tons of GHG emissions by 2025.
In addition to the above-mentioned directives, the Executive Order also directs federal agencies to reduce GHG emissions by:
- Reducing outdoor and agriculture water consumption by two percent annually by 2025;
- Installing agency-funded renewable energy on-site at federal facilities;
- Installing smart meters in all data centers by 2018;
- Participating in demand management programs; and
- Ensuring that construction of all federal buildings beginning in 2020 that are over 5,000 square feet are designed to achieve energy net-zero, as a result of on-site renewable energy, in 2030.