Senate committees have approved and readied for floor voting several bills to reduce energy and water use in federal buildings, and one to set new security standards for devices that agencies purchase that are connectible to the “Internet of Things”
S-734 would require the National Institute of Standards and Technology to issue recommendations addressing secure development, identity management, patching, and configuration management for IoT devices. OMB would issue guidelines for each agency consistent with the NIST recommendations, and any Internet-connected devices purchased by the federal government would have to comply with those recommendations. Further, vendors and contractors would have to disclose any vulnerabilities related to devices used by agencies that are discovered.
The buildings policy bills are:
* S-1245, to extend the current annual performance requirements for federal buildings of a 2.5 percent reduction in energy use through 2027 and increase the requirement to 20 percent by 2027, with some exceptions; and require agencies to complete a comprehensive energy and water evaluation for 25 percent of their facilities each year and implement any measures that are deemed life-cycle cost effective.
* S-1706, to encourage agencies to enter into energy savings performance contracts and utility energy service Contracts, in which a contractor designs and installs systems and equipment to reduce the energy consumption of a federal facility and is paid back through utility bill savings that result from the project over a defined time.
* S-1857, to require agencies to reduce water consumption by 2 percent a year, including industrial, landscaping, and agricultural water.