DOE's TEAM Initiative Boosts Project Pipeline for Financing

April 11, 2008

In August 2007, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) launched a new initiative to reduce energy intensity across the nationwide DOE complex by 30 percent and save a resulting $90 million in taxpayer money per year. The Transformational Energy Action Management (TEAM) Initiative will dramatically transform DOE's energy, environmental, and transportation management. The TEAM Initiative aims to meet or exceed the aggressive goals for increasing energy efficiency throughout the Federal government already laid out by President Bush. By fundamentally transforming the way DOE manages energy use in its facilities, the TEAM Initiative will leverage every possible public and private resource to improve performance and reduce energy and water costs at DOE facilities over the next few years.

Photo of EERE Assistant Secretary Andy Karsner touring the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
EERE Assistant Secretary Andy Karsner (left) gets a tour and overview of National Renewable Energy Laboratory facilities from Director of Program Development Mike Pacheco.

The TEAM Initiative has eight core goals:

  • Reduce energy consumption by 30 percent and water consumption by 16 percent in all DOE facilities.
  • Acquire at least 7.5 percent of all energy from renewable sources.
  • Attain alternative fueling stations for all DOE sites, and replace all conventional fuel vehicles in the DOE fleet with alternative fuel vehicles.
  • Attain a LEED Gold standard on all new buildings and on all buildings that go through major renovations.
  • Achieve a LEED Gold certification for all new construction and major building renovations in excess of $5 million, and ensure that 15 percent of DOE's current capital asset inventory complies with the Guiding Principles for Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings.
  • Give preference to bio-based, environmentally friendly sources of energy and water, while reducing the use of hazardous and toxic chemicals and managing the production of waste.
  • Develop best practice models for the use of third party financing for energy saving projects.
  • Improve the energy efficiency of all data centers by 10 percent by 2011.

The TEAM Initiative requires DOE sites to look beyond traditional means of appropriated funding for major energy projects by maximizing its use of alternative financing tools, including energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs) and utility energy service contracts (UESCs). As of January 2008, DOE has received 15 proposals from energy service companies (ESCOs) that amount to almost $500 million in project investment potential, and expect to receive as many as 10 additional proposals across 14 other DOE sites in the early part of 2008. DOE expects to award the vast majority of these proposals in FY 2008, keeping with the goals of the TEAM Initiative. In addition, DOE is developing alternative fueling stations at two of its largest facilities, Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Nevada Test Site, both of which will provide E85 ethanol for Alternative Fuel Vehicles.

The proposals that DOE has received so far include measures such as advanced lighting, rooftop photovoltaic solar panels, biofuel energy cogeneration facilities, advanced metering, energy saving data center systems, innovative energy management systems, and energy efficient heating and air conditioning systems.

DOE designed the TEAM Initiative to be a replicable model to be used by other Federal agencies. FEMP has developed a program to work with other government agencies to develop programs similar to the TEAM Initiative for use across the Federal government. FEMP estimates that to achieve the goals of Executive Order 13423, as well as the statutory goals of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the Federal government will need to invest over $1 billion per year in alternatively-financed energy projects.

For more information, please visit or contact Kasey Curtis of FEMP at or 202-586-9320.