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Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Construction Standards for Public Buildings

State Government
Savings Category 
Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building
Program Info
Sector Name 
Program Type 
Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Senate Bill 130 of 2008 established energy efficiency goals for new state building projects. All major facility projects over 10,000 square feet should strive to exceed the efficiency standards of ASHRAE 90.1.2004 by 30% where it is determined that such 30% efficiency is cost effective based on a life-cycle cost analysis with a payback of 10 years or less. 

Major facility projects must include Georgia products such that not less than 10% of all building materials used in a project are harvested, extracted or manufactured in Georgia, where such products are commercially available. Additionally, in 2015, HB 255 stipulated that "whenever green building standards are applied to the new construction, operation, repair, or renovation of any state building, the entity applying the standards shall use only those green building standards that give certification credits equally to Georgia forest products grown, manufactured, and certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, the American Tree Farm System, the Forest Stewardship Council, or other similar certifying organization approved by such entity."

In April 2008, the Governor separately created a policy to increase the energy efficiency of state government. Executive Order requires state government agencies and departments to reduce energy use. This executive order created the Governor's Energy Challenge 2020 as part of "Conserve Georgia." State agencies and departments must reduce energy consumption 15% by 2020, using 2007 energy use as a baseline. Reductions in energy use must come from energy efficiency measures and can also come from renewable energy development.

Funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) is being used by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) to fund state agency retrofit projects. These projects will help state government entities meet the goal set by the Governor's Energy Challenge. GEFA is in charge of implementing this program. The challenge is mandatory for state entities, but local governments, schools, businesses, and individuals are also encouraged to participate. An interactive tool is available on the Challenge website that helps building owners find energy efficiency options.