This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

August 08, 2007

DOE Aims to Reduce its Energy Intensity by 30 Percent

DOE launched a new initiative on August 8th to reduce energy intensity across the nationwide DOE complex by 30%, saving about $90 million in taxpayer money per year. The federal government is largest single user of energy in the United States, and DOE is the second largest energy consumer of all civilian federal agencies. DOE's new Transformational Energy Action Management (TEAM) Initiative requires that DOE have a plan for all facilities by 2008 to reduce their energy intensity by 30%; that all facilities maximize their installation of onsite renewable energy projects or optimize their purchase of renewable electricity; that the entire Alternative Fuel Vehicles fleet operate exclusively on clean, alternative fuels; and that water use be benchmarked and monitored, in order to reduce consumption 16% by fiscal year 2008. The new initiative places DOE on track to achieve the energy and water saving goals established by Executive Order 13423, which President Bush signed in January.

In addition, new construction, renovations, and 15% of existing buildings should incorporate the Guiding Principles for Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings, a common set of sustainable principles for integrated design, energy performance, water conservation, indoor environmental quality, and materials, ultimately aspiring to LEED Gold Certification. The LEED Green Building Rating System, short for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance green buildings.

To meet the goals, DOE expects to spend some appropriated funds for up-front investments in items such as advanced lighting, heating, and air conditioning. DOE will also supplement these funds by maximizing its use of alternative financing tools, including Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs) and Utility Energy Service Contracts. In fact, DOE has already arranged ESPCs with Honeywell for DOE sites across the country. Under ESPCs, contractors pay the up-front costs for energy efficiency improvements and are repaid through energy savings over the course of many years. See the press releases from DOE and Honeywell and the Federal Energy Management Program's Financing Mechanisms Web site.