The White House is set to allocate almost $1 billion for green upgrade projects at federal buildings around the country.
According to a Washington Post report from this week, the Biden administration will take money from the Inflation Reduction Act to upgrade 100 different federal buildings with various green technology items such as solar panels and heat pumps.
The Post report said that the General Services Administration is working to make the 100 different federal facilities run on all electric, and 28 of them will be net-zero in terms of emissions. The total budget to make that happen is $975 million.
GSA officials also said they were hoping that these projects would attract $925 million more in investments from the private sector, which would bring the total amount allocated to these projects about $1.9 billion.
The GSA, which is responsible for managing all of the properties that the federal government owns, is looking to revamp as much as 40 million square feet of space in total. That represents about 20% of the buildings that the GSA manages.
The GSA’s senior climate advisor, Jetta Wong, recently commented to The Post:
“GSA is really trying to lead by example in these new kinds of buildings. If we can do it in the federal government, the private sector can do it, too.”
The GSA has plans to fully electrify both the International Trade Center and the Ronald Reagan Building, projects that will take roughly $13.5 million to complete.
The International Trade Center will need to be retrofitted completely, which will include green upgrades to systems such as its boilers and electric heat pumps while also installing about 57,000 LED light bulbs. That building is the fourth largest that falls under the GSA’s management.
Victor Olgyay, who serves as an architect for RMI – a think tank focused on electrification – said recently that all the green spending the Biden administration is doing could eventually stimulate demand from the private sector for certain upgrades that are similar in vein.
RMI was one of the funding sources for the recent Biden administration study that was conducted about whether gas stoves should be regulated.
Olgyay commented to The Post:
“When the GSA says, ‘We’re going to replace this gas water heater with an electric heat pump water heater,’ that helps change the market and send a signal to the private sector.”
He did add, though, that for some instances such as at data centers and laboratories, it may cost a lot less money to demolish and then re-construct older buildings instead of attempting to retrofit them so they’re fully electric.
These are just a few of the many green upgrade projects that the Biden administration is undergoing, through the GSA. Democrats would have liked to go even further than this with green energy initiatives, but they were unable to get that legislation passed through both houses of Congress last year.