Many of you might know the federal government is the largest energy consumer in the United States, but what you might not know is that the General Services Administration (GSA) is the single largest owner/operator of office space in the United States, controlling over 370 million square feet of rentable space. This is significant because buildings consume a lot of energy. In fact, the residential and commercial building sectors combined to represent 39 percent of the total energy consumed by the entire country in 2017. Recognizing this, GSA has worked to improve the energy efficiency of its building stock to reduce energy consumption, save taxpayer dollars, boost energy independence and decrease stress on critical energy infrastructure.
A recent GSA report – The Impact of High-Performance Buildings – presents the findings of a three-year performance review of 200 GSA-owned buildings, split between 100 high-performance buildings and 100 legacy buildings. Unsurprisingly, the results were clear: high-performance buildings offer a range of critical benefits over other buildings. Perhaps most importantly for taxpayers, GSA estimates that if its entire portfolio met the average efficiency levels of high-performance buildings, the government could save nearly $185 million per year in operating costs.