A total of 30 federal buildings under the General Services Administration (GSA), which is deep in controversy right now around some possible scandals, will soon undergo energy audits to determine the best retrofit solutions to make them more energy efficient. The project is part of the GSA’s Deep Retrofit Challenge, which asks energy service companies to use their expertise to find the highest amount of energy savings through building retrofits.
The newly announced projects are designed to contribute to a memorandum put out by the White House that outlines how energy savings projects be completed through performance-based contracting. Performance-based contracting allows the government to acquire services via contracts that define what is to be achieved, not how it is done. In December, the President asked federal agencies to enter into at least $2 billion in performance-based contracts to achieve energy-savings and create jobs.
In the case of the 30 GSA buildings, the GSA will ask energy service companies to provide the maximum energy performance savings possible for each of the buildings. It will learn with the companies how best to achieve maximum energy savings through technology adoption, process improvements and risk management, followed by then sharing that knowledge with both the rest of the federal government and the private sector.
“This is a challenge to the private sector to bring innovative, energy saving retrofits to federal buildings and to take performance-based contracts to the next level,” Martha Johnson, Administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration said in a statement. “These retrofit projects create jobs, and performance-based contracts provide government with decades of lower utility bills and long term cost savings without an up front investment from the taxpayers.”