Deep Energy Retrofits

As part of the White House’s Climate Smart Buildings Initiative, our National Deep Energy Retrofit program helps modernize federal buildings to cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce site energy consumption through deep energy retrofits. These efforts support Executive Order 14057’s emphasis on decarbonizing federal buildings and prioritizing environmental justice.

Find out more about how GSA supports the administration’s sustainability priorities through federal services, catalyzing clean energy innovations and environmental justice.

The Energy Act of 2020 requires agencies to implement any identified life-cycle cost-effective energy conservation measures and implement at least 50% of them using performance contracting.

What is it?

Deep energy retrofits renovate buildings to reduce site energy use by at least 40%. Though often more expensive up front, deep energy retrofits deliver substantially greater value than quick-fix solutions.

Successful deep energy retrofits use an integrative and whole-systems approach that combines bundles of ECMs rather than considering individual technologies in isolation. By considering ECMs as part of a bundle, we can leverage the interactive effects between ECMs to further reduce energy and cost.

What can agencies do to further their efforts?

Agencies may have already implemented some of the load reduction and passive strategies during construction, but it’s important to continually reassess and improve your building’s performance.

Looking to do more? Evaluate your site to assess the need for a deep retrofit, then view the procurement options below and follow our deep energy retrofit process and best practices to get started.

Procurement options

  • Energy Savings Performance Contracts and Utility Energy Service Contracts can upgrade buildings with whole system solutions, reduce long-term operating costs and vulnerabilities to energy price volatility, meet energy and climate mandates, and create jobs. These contracts do this by partnering with energy service companies to procure energy savings and facility improvements with no upfront capital costs or special appropriations from Congress.
    • ENABLE allows agencies to initiate small federal projects to install ECMs within six months through the GSA Schedule.
  • Power Purchase Agreements allow agencies to purchase power generated from a renewable energy system that is installed directly on federal property. The developer owns, operates, and maintains the system for the life of the contract.
  • ESPC Energy Sales Agreements are project structures, similar to power purchase agreements, that use the multiyear ESPC authority to implement distributed energy projects on federal buildings or land.

What has been done?

Our accomplishments from 2013 to August of 2022 include:

  • 43 task orders awarded
  • 38% average energy reduction
  • $827 million investment value
  • 220 facilities and 104 million square feet
  • $55 million annual savings
  • 1,272 billion BTUs annual energy savings
  • 152 million gallons annual water savings

Success stories

Our deep energy retrofit success stories include work on:

  • The New Carrollton Federal Building, which reduced energy by 60%, water by 56%, and GHG by an estimated 20,000 metric tons through ESPCs.
  • The Almeric L. Christian Federal Building, which resulted in savings over $500,000 per year.
  • The King and Brickell federal buildings, which achieved 43% energy savings and 40% water savings with a 15-year ESPC.

Related resources

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Last Reviewed: 2022-10-25