H.R. 2044 would establish a Federal Smart Building Program within the Department of Energy (DOE) to implement smart building technology in federally owned and operated buildings and demonstrate the cost and benefits of such buildings. The bill defines smart buildings as those with automated systems that allow a building’s energy systems to be monitored, analyzed, and controlled to optimize energy use and service to occupants.
Currently, the General Services Administration (GSA) operates an Office of Federal High Performance Buildings that aims to operate federal facilities more effectively and efficiently as directed by federal laws and executive orders. In 2019, that program received an appropriation of $3 million. GSA also operates a computer program (GSAlink) that collects and analyzes data from advanced gas, electric, and water meters at more than 80 federal buildings. In addition, DOE’s Federal Energy Management Program tracks federal energy use. DOE also manages the Building Technologies program that supports research and development of innovative building energy technologies. In 2019, those two DOE programs received a combined appropriation of $256 million.
However, CBO expects that coordinating the current work of GSA and DOE into a new program, along with the reporting requirements would increase the administrative costs at DOE. CBO estimates those costs to be about $1 million annually and $5 million over the 2020-2024.