(Washington, DC) – Today, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology’s Subcommittee on Energy is holding a hearing titled, “Building Technologies Research for a Sustainable Future.”

Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson’s (D-TX) opening statement for the record is below.

Good Afternoon and thank you Chairman Bowman for holding this hearing today, as well as to all of our witnesses for being here.

The sustainability of our buildings is a topic that touches on every American across the country. Buildings make up almost 40% percent of the total energy consumption in the United States, and reducing that consumption can not only decrease our electric bills but also significantly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

My city of Dallas, Texas is the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the U.S. Our growing population supports a growing economy, but we must ensure that new infrastructure to meet these needs is built with the most up-to-date technologies to provide efficiency, comfort, and resilience.

Existing buildings are another key component of federal research, development, and demonstration activities. Many of the advancements that have been made on improving heating, cooling, windows, and lighting can be more easily applied to new construction projects, but our existing buildings are not going away any time soon. Retrofit technologies can help to equitably distribute local and federal resources, as some of the communities that could most use healthier, cleaner, and more resilient buildings have aging infrastructure.

As we have seen with recent, devastating events in my home state of Texas, ensuring the resilience of our grid is paramount. When constructing new buildings, grid connectivity could be a key element in alleviating energy demand and improving reliability through next-generation sensors, controls, and communication technologies. I look forward to hearing how our national labs and the Building Technologies Office within the Department of Energy can help us achieve these goals.

Buildings affect all aspects of our daily lives, and we should be doing everything we can to ensure that we are laying a foundation for these technologies to improve our infrastructure for decades to come.

Thank you again to our witnesses for being here, and with that, I yield back the balance of my time.

For Immediate Release
March 25, 2021
Rebekah Eskandani
Catherine Anderson