President Bush Signs Executive Order on Efficiency, Renewable Energy

January 31, 2007

President Bush signed an executive order on January 24th that mandates an increased use of energy efficiency and renewable fuels throughout the federal government. Executive Order 13423 calls for federal agencies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by cutting their energy intensity 30 percent, relative to their energy use in 2003, by 2015. Agencies must meet most of their electronic product needs with Energy Star devices, and must enable the energy-saving features on computers and monitors. New building construction and renovations must meet the Guiding Principles for Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings, which include a target energy use of 30 percent below the average building performance for new buildings and a target that's 20 percent below the average for renovations. By 2015, 15 percent of each agency's building inventory must meet these Guiding Principles, which a number of federal agencies agreed to in early 2006. See the 2006 Memorandum of Understanding (PDF 190 KB), which includes the Guiding Principals, on the Energy Star Web site. Download Adobe Reader.

The executive order also emphasizes a cut in petroleum use for federal fleets of vehicles. Agencies that operate fleets of at least 20 motor vehicles are required to reduce their fleet's total consumption of petroleum products by 2 percent annually through 2015, while increasing their consumption of non-petroleum-based fuel by 10 percent per year. Agencies are also required to use plug-in hybrid vehicles when they become commercially available at a cost comparable to other vehicles, including operational costs over the life of the vehicle.

The order also mandates that at least half of any agency's required supply of renewable energy be provided by facilities placed in service since 1999. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 requires federal agencies to draw on renewable energy for 3 percent of their electricity use from this fiscal year (FY) through FY 2009, 5 percent for FY 2010 through FY 2012, and 7.5 percent thereafter. In addition, the order includes a general requirement for procuring biobased and energy-efficient products, and includes a number of other environmental goals, such as reduced water consumption, increased recycled content in purchased items, minimized use of toxic and hazardous materials, and reduced environmental impacts from electronic products. See the executive order on the White House Web site.