U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger introduced legislation last week to authorize the Department of Energy's Federal Energy Management Program, which is responsible for reducing energy use in federal buildings.
Kinzinger introduced the bipartisan bill, the Federal Energy and Water Management Performance Act, with U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vermont, according to a news release.
To date, the FEMP has never received a formal authorization from Congress despite being an existing program whose functions were spelled out in the National Energy Conservation Policy Act of 1975, the release said.
Buildings in the U.S. account for about 40% of the country's energy use, according to Kinzinger's office.
"Considering the federal government has the largest real estate holdings nationwide, we should be doing everything we can to improve its energy and water use," Kinzinger said in the release.
Kinzinger's bill would formally authorize the program for five years, add water use reduction to its mission, and set goals for agencies to reduce water and energy use in federal facilities.
He added that he introduced the legislation to require agencies to coordinate with one another to improve energy efficiency and water use.
Welch argued in the release that the FEMP's work on energy efficiency has saved taxpayer dollars and improved the environment. The bill directs agencies to reduce energy consumption by 2.5% each year through 2030.