The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has proposed a rule that would require new federal buildings and certain federal buildings undergoing major renovations to be free of fossil-fuel generated energy consumption by 2030. 75 Fed. Reg. 63,404 (10/15/10). The proposed rule would implement provisions of the Energy Conservation and Production Act, as amended by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, that require the agency to establish revised performance standards for the construction of all new federal buildings, including commercial buildings, multi-family high-rise residential buildings and low-rise residential buildings.

Reductions in fossil-fuel generated energy consumption would incrementally increase every five years, with required reductions rising to 65 percent in fiscal year (FY) 2015, 80 percent in FY 2020, 90 percent in 2025, and 100 percent in 2030. The proposed rule contains a proviso allowing agencies to petition DOE for a “downward adjustment if they believe meeting … the reduction level is technically impracticable.” DOE will accept comments on the proposed rule until December 14, 2010, and hold a public meeting on November 12 to discuss the proposal.