Energy Goals and Standards for Federal Agencies

April 30, 2009


Executive Order 13423: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management, signed on January 24, 2007, established total energy reduction goals for every federal agency. These goals apply to the electricity consumed by federal buildings as well as the fuel consumed by federal fleets, provided a fleet consists of at least 20 vehicles. The executive order also established water-reduction goals, mandated recycling programs within facilities, and required agencies to purchase electronic equipment registered with the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT). Executive Order 13423 established a schedule by which all federal agencies should reduce their total energy intensity by 30% by the end of 2015, relative to the baseline of the agency’s energy use in fiscal year 2003 according to the following schedule:

  • FY 2006: 3%
  • FY 2007: 6%
  • FY 2008: 9%
  • FY 2009: 12%
  • FY 2010: 15%
  • FY 2011: 18%
  • FY 2012: 21%
  • FY 2013: 24%
  • FY 2014: 27%
  • FY 2015: 30%
To help achieve these energy reductions, new construction and major renovation of agency buildings must comply with the "Guiding Principles for Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings" set forth in the Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings Memorandum of Understanding (2006), in addition to the energy goals and standards established by the federal Energy Policy Act of 2005. These building standards include a target energy use of 30% below the average building performance for new buildings, and a target that is 20% below the average for renovations. The building standards also take into consideration indoor environmental quality, and a reduction in the environmental impact of the materials within the building in favor of bio-based and post-consumer products. The executive order also calls for agencies to begin in fiscal year 2008 to reduce water consumption intensity when cost-effective, relative to the baseline of the agency’s water consumption in fiscal year 2007. The target reduction is 2% annually through the end of fiscal year 2015 (or 16% by the end of fiscal year 2015). To help agencies conserve water, DOE's Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) has developed a guidance document entitled Establishing Baseline and Meeting Water Conservation Goals of Executive Order 13423. Agencies that operate fleets of at least 20 vehicles are also required to reduce their fleet's total consumption of petroleum products by 2% annually through 2015, while increasing their consumption of non-petroleum-based fuel by 10% per year. Agencies are also required to purchase plug-in hybrid vehicles when life-cycle cost analysis demonstrates their cost to be reasonably similar to other vehicles. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 established green power purchasing goals for the federal government, whereby the 7.5% of electricity used by federal agencies must be obtained from renewable sources by 2013. Executive Order 13423 now requires at least half of the required renewable energy consumed by an agency in a fiscal year to come from sources placed in service in 1999 or later.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: Federal
Category: Regulatory Policy
State: Federal
Incentive Type: Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Web Site:
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Renewable Fuel Vehicles
  • Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building


Name: Executive Order 13423
Date Enacted: 1/24/2007
Effective Date: 1/24/2007


Name: Public Information - FEMP
Organization: U.S. Department of Energy
Address: EE-2L
Washington DC 20585-0121
Phone: (202) 586-5772

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.