Commercial Buildings Lag Government
Buildings in Energy Conservation
The latest data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reveals that commercial buildings
owned by government agencies (federal, state and local) have
reduced their energy consumption at a much faster rate than that
of commercial buildings overall.
According to EIA’s Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption
Survey (CBECS), government buildings decreased consumption 23% from 2003 through 2012, dropping from 105,300 BTUs
per square foot to 81,200 BTUs. Over the same period, energy
consumption across all commercial buildings decreased only
12%, from 91,000 BTUs to 80,000 BTUs per square foot (Chart 1).
About 14% of U.S. commercial buildings are owned by a government agency.
Governments at all levels have passed legislation and adopted
energy goals and targets, and government buildings are more
likely to have taken formal actions to reduce energy. For example, building automation systems that automatically control
lighting and HVAC are operating in approximately one-third of
government buildings, more than twice the rate of nongovernment buildings (Chart 2). Formal energy management plans are
much more common in government buildings (27%) than nongovernment buildings (8%). Upgrades of HVAC and lighting are
also more likely to have taken place in government buildings.
In 2015 President Obama signed an executive order that
requires a reduction in federal building energy intensity of 2.5%
annually between 2015 and 2025. B
FM COST TRENDS
Average energy consumption per square foot (2003 and 2012)
Thousand British thermal units per square foot
2003 2012 2003 2012
Buildings with energy monitoring and upgrades (2012)
Percent of building type (government or nongovernment)
U.S. Commercial Buildings Government Buildings