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

January 07, 2009

DOE Awards 16 Contracts for Energy Savings at Federal Facilities

DOE announced on December 18 that it will award 16 new Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs) that could result in up to $80 billion in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation projects at federally-owned buildings and facilities. ESPCs are contracts under which a contractor designs, constructs, and obtains the necessary financing for an energy savings project, and the federal agency makes payments over time to the contractor from the savings in the agency's utility bills. The contractor guarantees the energy improvements will generate savings, and after the contract ends, all continuing cost savings accrue to the federal agency. The new contracts will be available to all U.S. federal agencies for use in federal buildings located in the United States and overseas, and each contract allows for up to $5 billion in energy- and water-saving projects, without any restrictions on the technologies used to achieve those savings.

The federal government is the largest single user of energy in the United States. The energy goals outlined in Executive Order 13423, the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 require federal agencies to reduce their energy use per square foot of building space to 30% below their 2003 levels by 2015, while also reducing their water usage to 16% below their 2007 usage levels. Federal facilities are also required to draw on renewable energy for at least 7.5% of their electrical needs by 2013. Within DOE, the Transformational Energy Action Management (TEAM) Initiative was launched in 2007 to meet the energy intensity goal. See the DOE press release and the Web sites for the Federal Energy Management Program and the TEAM Initiative.