The Solar in Federal Buildings Demonstration Program

EMD-79-84: Published: Aug 10, 1979. Publicly Released: Aug 10, 1979.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

The Solar in Federal Buildings Demonstration Program was proposed as a major initiative to demonstrate the Federal Government's leadership in promoting conservation and the use of renewable resources in its in own buildings. However, because the Department of Energy (DOE) has not developed a comprehensive strategy or assumed its mandated leadership responsibilities, this new program is being carried out in isolation from other conservation and solar effects for Federal buildings.

DOE does not appear to be fully committed to this new program even though it represents a significant commercialization effort. Basic management and staff support functions will be performed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) rather than DOE personnel. DOE has also not requested the full funding authorized by Congress nor an extension of the program to the 3-year period originally proposed by the administration in the National Energy Policy. This lack of commitment is especially serious in view of the fact that the President set a national goal for meeting 20 percent of the country's energy needs with solar and renewable resources by the end of the century. The manner in which DOE is proceeding with the development of this program will severely restrain the impact that was intended for the program in both the Federal and private sectors.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: DOE should: (1) assume and carry out its mandated leadership and coordination responsibilities by developing a comprehensive strategy and plan to guide and integrate conservation and solar efforts for Federal buildings; (2) within the framework of the 10-year Federal Buildings Plan, establish a mechanism to coordinate all conservation and solar efforts; (3) revise the proposed rules for preliminary energy audits of Federal buildings to require that consistent data be collected for all buildings; (4) reevaluate the extensive use of NASA to provide basic management and staff support to the program; (5) implement a Federal buildings solar program on the scale envisioned by the President and Congress; and (6) review and resolve the life cycle cost effectiveness problems that have been identified as major impediment to the use of solar technology in Federal buildings.

    Agency Affected:


Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Mar 22, 2018

Mar 14, 2018

Mar 13, 2018

Mar 8, 2018

Mar 7, 2018

Feb 28, 2018

Feb 27, 2018

Feb 23, 2018

Looking for more? Browse all our products here