A Grid-Interactive Efficient Building (GEB) is an energy-efficient building that uses smart technologies and on-site distributed energy resources to provide demand flexibility while co-optimizing for energy cost, grid services, and occupant needs and preferences, in a continuous and integrated way.

The layout of a commercial grid-interactive efficient building.

The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) plays a key role in helping agencies understand and meet energy-related goals, including those surrounding GEB. This support includes identifying, sharing, and demonstrating best practices among federal agencies, as well as providing technical support and developing tools and resources.

Federal Smart Building Accelerator Fact Sheet

Learn more about the purpose, importance, and goals of the Federal Smart Building Accelerator and the benefits of becoming a partner.

Program Overview

As referenced in the Energy Act of 2020, FEMP supports the Federal Smart Buildings Accelerator to design and implement specific approaches that would accelerate the adoption of smart building and grid responsive technologies. This effort is building upon GEB research conducted in the Building Technologies Office and the General Services Administration (GSA). As part of the accelerator, FEMP develops and validates resources to catalyze the adoption of GEB technologies and a GEB-ready recognition program.

Key Characteristics of GEBs



Graphic with four round icons in a row, and a heading under each one: Efficient, Connected, Smart, Flexible. Each has an explanation under it.

GEB Decarbonization Benefits

GEBs decarbonize the building stock by utilizing:

  • Energy efficient equipment to reduce energy usage
  • Tight building envelopes to reduce heating/cooling energy use 
  • Renewable energy generation (e.g., PV panels, etc.) and energy storage to replace carbon heavy energy sources and enable fleet decarbonization
  • Grid connected smart technology and energy storage to help integrate variable renewable energy sources on the grid and further replace carbon heavy sources

How Can Buildings Provide Flexibility?

Buildings can provide flexibility by reducing wasted energy, helping balance energy use during times of peak demand and/or plentiful renewable generation, and reducing the risk of frequency deviations.

As the grid becomes increasingly complex, demand flexibility can play an important role in helping maintain grid reliability, improving energy affordability, and integrating a variety of generation sources.

Additional Resources

FEMP Publications

GSA Oklahoma City Federal Building: Smart Buildings Case Study demonstrates that GEB-ready strategies and technologies can be deployed across buildings with minimal investment.

BTO GEB Technical Reports

These technical reports provide background information about GEB services and analyze different areas of building technologies including HVAC, envelope, lighting, controls, and an overview of research challenges.

A National Roadmap for Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings (2021)

Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings Projects Summary (2020)

  • This report provides background information and descriptions for ongoing and completed projects related to GEBs.

GSA GEB Technical Reports

Blueprint for Integrating Grid-Interactive Efficient Building Technologies into U.S. General Services Administration Performance Contracts, NREL Technical Report (2021)

Grid-Interactive Efficient Building Case Studies In the Federal Portfolio (2021)

  • This report provides examples of GEB technologies currently used in U.S. federal buildings.

Rocky Mountain Institute GEB Reports

The Value Potential for Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings in the GSA Portfolio: A Cost-Benefit Analysis

  • This report provides insight into the analysis of GEB cost and energy savings.

Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings Made Easy: A GSA Building Manager's Guide to Low- and No-Cost GEB Measures 

  • This report provides an overview of grid-interactive efficient buildings and lays out actionable steps for GSA building managers to implement these no- and low-cost measures.