FEMP manages a portfolio of technology deployment activities in support of all federal agencies.
Activities include alternative financing, direct technical assistance, training and information, publication of an
annual report to Congress, and procurement recommendations. In addition, Congress and the President have
set stringent energy intensity and GHG reduction goals for federal facilities.
DOE reports that, based on information from 29 federal agencies, the energy intensity of the
federal government's standard buildings dropped by 25.6 percent in 2002 compared with the FY 1985
Although not all energy savings can be directly attributable to FEMP's portfolio of
activities (DOE assesses that 50 percent of savings are due to FEMP's leadership), over the past 20 years
of activities, the annual investment in FEMP ($25 million in 2002) saved 0.074 quads of energy and
1.1 MMTC in FY 2003 (representing less than one percent of the 599 MMTC emitted by the building
sector in 2002).
E. Research and Development
In the long run, the opportunities for a low GHG energy future depend
critically on new and emerging technologies.
The design of public policies to promote
green buildings and sustainable communities needs to consider and anticipate the full range of these
technological possibilities. Some technological improvements are incremental and have a high probability
of commercial introduction over the next decade (such as low cost compact fluorescents and greater
building automation). Other technology advances will require considerable R&D before they can become
commercially feasible (such as solid state lighting, electrochromic windows, smart roofs, fuel cells powered
by renewable sources of hydrogen, and indoor environmental sensors operating off microwatt sources of
power). A 2003 report by DOE's Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee describes a set of research
directions that could deliver such fundamental technological breakthroughs.
The fragmented and highly competitive structure of the building sector and the small size of
most building companies discourages private R&D, on both individual components and the interactive
performance of components in whole buildings. As a result, the building and construction industries
spend only 1.7 percent of revenues on R&D, compared with 3.5 percent for the overall U.S. economy.
Some R&D on equipment is undertaken by appliance and HVAC companies and on materials by chemical
Towards a Climate Friendly