Federal Deep Energy Retrofits

We’re arming leading federal agencies to successfully pursue and execute deep energy retrofits, saving vast amounts of energy as a means to meet goals, save money, create jobs, improve resilience, and help the environment.

What Are Federal Deep Retrofits?

We are working with leading federal government agencies to address barriers and catalyze opportunities for deep energy retrofits and net-zero energy buildings and sites using alternative financing approaches. We aim to increase resiliency, provide necessary infrastructure improvements with no up-front cost to taxpayers, reduce government waste, expand public-private partnerships, and create jobs.

Why It Matters

U.S. federal buildings represent the largest aggregate building portfolio in the world, accounting for billions of square feet in real estate. They not only provide space for hundreds of thousands of employees to provide critical services to our country, they also represent a significant opportunity to save energy and money, create jobs, stimulate economic growth, and demonstrate building performance solutions that can drive the private sector forward.

What We’re Doing

Our work combines strategic advising with on the ground execution support specifically focused on:

The General Services Administration (GSA) National Deep Energy Retrofit Program: We are working with the nation’s biggest landlord to demonstrate deep energy savings delivered through energy savings performance contracts, and to move their facilities toward net-zero.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Facilities Infrastructure Restoration and Modernization Program (formerly known as the Deep Energy Retrofit Challenge) We are working with the DOE and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to significantly increase the level of energy savings achieved in retrofit projects through integrative design, driving toward a 40 percent energy use reduction.

Building the case for deep energy retrofit in the broader federal landscape: We are working with federal efforts related to deep energy retrofits helping to craft information, resources, tools and outreach to increase federal interest and adoption.

Byron Rogers Federal Building, courtesy of the GSA

The Byron Rogers Federal Building, courtesy of the GSA

Lounge in the Byron Rogers Federal Building, courtesy of GSA

Skyscrapper Office business building LondonLondon office skyscrapper buildingBusiness office building in London, England, UKBusiness office building in London, England: SONY A7, lens Canon 17-40 L.

What We’ve Accomplished

RMI has served as a contractor for the U.S. GSA for over five years. Over this time we’ve driven meaningful impact in the following categories:

    • Convening powerful partners to go deeper: RMI has worked with the GSA, the DOE, and the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) to bring together key stakeholders including federal agencies, energy service companies (ESCOs), financiers, and others to brainstorm barriers and solutions to achieve innovative, broadly applicable deep retrofits. RMI’s work with GSA helped more than double the average federal energy savings of 18 percent to 38 percent in a group of 10 projects awarded in 2012 totaling $172 million in investment. The GSA has replicated these higher savings in the most recent round of projects awarded in 2016, with three of the five contracts awarded achieving above 30 percent energy savings. More than two-thirds of the 15 contracts GSA executed in the past four years exceeded the federal average savings.


    • Thought leadership: RMI has published lessons learned, best practices, case studies, and practice guides for getting deeper savings from energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs) to drive the public and private sectors forward.


  • Processes and tool development: RMI helped improve performance contracting tools and processes to scale successes across the federal portfolio. RMI also worked on individual deep retrofits, including the Byron Rogers Federal Building, which achieved more than 60 percent energy savings through integrative design, demonstrating how deep retrofits can produce better buildings for owners and tenants.

Our Partners

U.S. General Services Administration


U.S. Department of Energy


National Renewable Energy Laboratory




Deep Energy Retrofits in Federal Buildings: The Value, Funding Models, and Best Practices—
ASHRAE Transactions, 2017

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About the DOE Facilities Infrastructure Restoration and Modernization (FIRM) program

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Energy Efficiency and Net-Zero Buildings: GSA and RMI Answer the Call, 2015

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Deep Energy Retrofits Using Energy Savings Performance Contracts: Success Stories, 2015

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The Path to a Deep Energy Retrofit Using an Energy Savings Performance Contract, 2015

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360 Degree Perspective on Deep Energy Retrofits, 2014

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Deep Energy Retrofits in GSA Buildings, 2013

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