Six lawmakers, three Republicans and three Democrats, teamed up to introduce a bill to improve energy and water efficiency in federal buildings. The Federal Energy and Water Management Performance Act of 2019 would authorize the Federal Energy Management Program and establish energy and water usage reduction goals for federal buildings. Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski, Cory Gardner, and Rob Portman joined Democrats Mazie Hirono, Jeanne Shaheen, and Joe Manchin to co-sponsor the measure.

“Promoting greater energy efficiency helps create jobs and protect the environment, and that’s why I’m proud to support this bipartisan bill,” Portman said in a statement. “This measure will help reduce the federal government’s energy and water consumption and increase energy efficiency in federal buildings. The FEMP program has already saved the federal government $50 billion in energy costs, and codifying this important program will ensure continued savings in energy and water use. I look forward to continue working with my colleagues on ways to improve energy efficiency and move this legislation forward.”

“As the largest consumer of energy, it’s important for the federal government to lead by example by improving its energy efficiency and making the necessary resiliency upgrades to survive extreme weather and cyber events,” Gardner said. “The Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program can coordinate government leadership, leverage private financing with performance contracts, and track and report on federal progress. I’m proud to be a sponsor of this bill.”

Buildings account for approximately 40 percent of all U.S. energy consumption and about 70 percent of the country’s electricity consumption.