Economic Stimulus Act to Result in Greener Federal Buildings and Fleets

February 18, 2009

Federal buildings and fleets will become greener under a measure of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which President Barack Obama signed on February 17. The act provides $4.5 billion to the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to convert federal buildings into high-performance green buildings, which generally combine energy efficiency and renewable energy production to minimize the energy use of the buildings. The act also directs $4 million toward the establishment of an Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings within the GSA.

In addition, the act provides $100 million for the Energy Conservation Investment Program within the Department of Defense (DOD), as well as another $100 million for energy conservation and alternative energy projects at facilities of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. The act also provides the DOD with $3.84 billion to modernize its facilities, and a portion of those funds will go toward energy efficiency improvements.

For federal vehicle fleets, the act provides $300 million to cover the costs of acquiring greener motor vehicles, including hybrids, electric vehicles, and plug-in hybrid vehicles, once they become commercially available. Buying plug-in hybrids will be an iffy proposition, however, as the funds must be spent by September 30, 2011. See pages 45-48, 88-91, and 195-197 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (PDF 13.4 MB), as well as pages 19, 30-31, and 73 of the accompanying joint explanatory statement of the conference committee (PDF 10.3 MB). Download Adobe Reader.